Conflict is often perceived as being negative, destructive and undesirable. Many people go to great lengths to deny the existence of conflict, or to avoid dealing with it, even when they acknowledge its existence. This is because conflict is conventionally perceived as being synonymous with fighting and the creation of winners and losers. In the work situation, for example, leaders often deny or “gloss over” the existence of conflict, wrongly believing that there is no valid reason for significant conflict to ever occur.
Despite the above fear, conflict is actually a natural part of everyone’s working and personal life. This is because individuals and groups within families, teams, organizations, societies an countries have values, needs, feelings and resources which differ from those held by other individuals and groups. This inevitably leads to quite natural but “healthy” conflict in those same families, teams, organizations, societies and countries. Hence, conflict in itself is not problematic. It can however be destructive if it isn’t successfully channeled and resolved. If handled properly, conflict can highlight problems that need to be rectified, lead to new ideas and behavior, enhance communication, and foster better long
term relationships between individuals and groups.
Although we frequently encounter conflict in our working and personal lives, many of us lack a sound understanding of the process, skills and techniques that can be used to resolve conflict constructively. The aim of these coaching sessions is to change that situation.
This topic is presented in four sequential stages consisting of:
• Analyze the basis or foundation of the conflict.
• Discuss or share information about the conflict and plan how it might be tackled.
• Propose options that might successfully reduce or eliminate conflict.
• Review the relative quality of the proposed final solution(s).