Is there now, or has there been, a person or two in your life that you have difficulty in maintaining a civil relationship with at times? It may be your spouse or lover; it may be a friend or a superior at work. We usually say “I have a love-hate relationship with this person.”
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.
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.
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.