Conflict is inevitable. No matter where you work, sooner or later you’re going to find yourself in a disagreement with someone. We’ve all heard of disputes that erupt into expensive and divisive lawsuits. A simple personality conflict between two members of a team can cripple productivity and in the end leave the entire team feeling angry and betrayed.
Do you get frustrated with your spouse, your kids, your parents? Maybe you can’t stand your boss, or your co-workers drive you up the wall. I’ll bet you think that if all these pesky people would just quit bothering you that you’d be really happy, right? Well guess what, you’d just find something else to drive you crazy because you like how it feels.
When we align ourselves too strongly with one of the subsets of duality (a liberal and a conservative, for example) we are setting ourselves up for inevitable conflict. A key to conflict resolution may be to become educated about both sides and willing to see things from the other’s perspective.
As DeChurch and Marks state, “the manner in which groups handle emergent conflict may play a critical role in whether or not the conflict situation has a positive or negative impact on group outcomes”. The way a group communicates during conflict can mitigate conflict before it occurs or once it has occurred.
Everyone argues at some point, no matter how good the relationship is otherwise. Since everyone argues at some point, how do you dispute personal conflicts without compromising a relationship? Here are some things to think about before, during, and after an argument where a personal relationship is at stake.
Have you noticed that, in our culture, slurs about gender, class, race and sex have become fairly commonplace and are often even seen as humorous by some? Howard Stern, Ann Coulter, Jesse Jackson and Bill O’Reilly, to name a few well known pundits, have been busy playing the ‘can you top this’ game.