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Resolving Conflict for Leaders

Conflict is an inevitable result of social interaction in our everyday lives. It occurs because we engage in situations and circumstances with people who have different goals, values and backgrounds.

In every workplace conflict is present to varying degrees. We define conflict as a 'strong disagreement between people, groups, etc., that often results in anger and arguments.' When management teams know how to resolve conflict effectively, they save time by turning potentially destructive situations into positive opportunities for growth and development.

Conflict can be split into two categories, disruptive conflict and constructive conflict. Disruptive conflict may result in unhealthy competition, defensive communication, personal attacks and a closed work environment, all of which hinder productivity. On the other hand, constructive conflict results in cooperation, collective focus, open work environments and supportive communication.

Like stress, conflict is inevitable, and it can either be positive or negative. It is not possible for two or more people to work together and always agree. Conflict can, at times, be necessary and beneficial, and help foster team growth. Constructive conflict can help make you more focused on the work at hand. Disruptive conflict can make you resistant and defensive.

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