Conflict Resolution Strategies

Powerful Essays
Conflict Resolution Strategies

Conflict has long been viewed as negative, and is usually associated with things as trivial as an argument to something as extreme as war, and is seldom seen as beneficial. In the team environment however, conflict can be very beneficial if recognized early and managed properly and can enhance team performance as well as relationships between team members.

Conflict is inevitable as humans interact, because not everyone shares the same beliefs, values, opinions, level of education, expertise on a given subject, and social or economical background, just to name a few. Most of us try to avoid conflict whenever possible because it makes us uncomfortable. To become comfortable with it, or at the very least be able to handle it when it arises, we need to understand it.

Let’s start by defining conflict. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, conflict can be defined as follows; "a: competitive or opposing action of incompatibles: antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons) b: mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands." (Merriam-Webster 2006) Conflict can arise when someone feels as though their intellect, values, creditability, or beliefs are being challenged.

To be an effective part of a team, understand that conflict will arise and members will need to be able to manage it as part of their responsibility to the team and to ourselves. Managing the conflict early can be very beneficial to the team attaining its goals and can greatly enhance the relationship of the team members. Some teams choose to ignore conflict when it occurs. They may view it as only negative and be fearful to con...

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... it within the team avoiding or postponing can be appropriate. (Porter, 2003)

Now that we have defined conflict, looked at the different reasons conflict occurs and the positive and negative aspects, and some strategies to manage conflict, we can have a better understanding of potential causes and signs of conflict. As a result, we can recognize and manage the conflict effectively to have a positive and beneficial affect on team performance.


DeJanasz, Dowd, Schneider, (2001). Interpersonal Skills in Organizations.

New York: Mcgraw-Hill Companies.

McNamara, P (2003,08). Conflict Resolution Strategies.

OfficePro Magazine,

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2006

Porter, S (2003). Managing Conflict in Learning Teams.

University of Phoenix.

DeJanasz, Dowd, Schneider, (2001). Interpersonal Skills in Organizations.

New York: Mcgraw-Hill Companies.
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