How to Resolve Conflict

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Conflict is in inevitable part of our everyday lives. Since no two people view things in the exact same manner, disagreement will most certainly arise at some point in time. Conflict is simply a difference of opinion and is considered to be a normal part of our everyday lives. There are several different forms of conflict and not all of them are considered to be bad. This paper will discuss the causes of conflict, the different types of conflict, and barriers to conflict. According to Communication Research Associates, conflict is a condition of imbalance within an individual (Communication Research Associates, 2005, p. 178). Keep in mind that just as there are disadvantages to conflict, there are also several advantages. In order to identify and resolve conflict, one must first understand the causes of conflict. Conflict styles can be classified as either productive; which have a positive influence on one or all parties involved, destructive; which have a negative influence on one or all parties involved, or competition; which “one party achieves a victory through force, superior skill, or domination at the expense of the other party's desires” (Schermerhon, Hunt, & Osborne, 2002, p. 134-135). Conflict may arise from a variety of causes to include: miscommunication, personality clashes, heightened ego, previous unresolved issues, stress, and a breach of trust by one or more parties. All of the listed causes fall into one or more of the seven types of conflict discussed later in this paper. Underlying stress and tension are a conflict waiting to happen. Often people will keep things bottled up inside and the slightest provocation sets them off. If the receiver is unaware of how to handle conflict then their first instinct wo... ... middle of paper ... ...This type of barrier, if escalated, can destroy all hope of rational communication. Unmanaged or unresolved conflict can quickly escalate. It is therefore important to recognize and deal with conflict as early as possible. By doing so, the chances for escalation are decreased and the chances for a feasible and constructive solution are increased. The best solution to conflict is to recognize it, understand it, keep a positive outlook about it, and know that avoiding it does not make it go away. Works Cited Communication Research Associates. (2005). Communicate! A workbook for interpersonal communication (7th ed.). Long Beach: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Schermerhon, J., HUNT, J., & Osborne, R. (2002). Organizational Behavior (7th Ed.). Windle, R., & Warren, S. (n.d.). Conflict 101. Retrieved June 5, 2010, from http://www.directionservice.org/cadre
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