Conflict is a normal part of life. Conflicts abound in our everyday life. Most conflict arises out of disagreements between how we should behave/act or even think and feel. Conflict is a natural part of life, and without it, we would not challenge each other to do or be better but would merely passively accept what is dished out to us, like robots! More often than not, it’s not the conflict that is the problem, but how we choose to deal with it that brings us negative results and depleted relationships. Most of us have been conditioned to view conflict as an unpleasant thing. However, conflict is the manifestation of how people think and behave according to their different personal and social histories. It also occurs as a response to frustration, and some would say as an expression of aggressive and competitive instincts. Inner conflicts reflect our difficulties in coming to terms with life’s challenges or in accepting ourselves as we truly are (this does not mean that we must put up with how we are!).
The most valuable aspect of conflict is the energy that it generates. Conflict management is not an attempt to suppress this energy, but to use it constructively. Conflict caused by differing viewpoints may lead to harsh and painful situations, or it can be transformed into creative and productive dialogue. Conflict will become easier to manage if we see it as inevitable but not necessarily destructive, and as a problem to be solved rather than a battle to be won.
Together we will try to explore the causes and effects of conflict, and learn how to manage it through effective communication, active listening, and problem solving. Develop your ability to use facilitation, negotiation or mediation in group situations to acheive win-win solutions. How we manage conflict, however, can destroy relationships and lead to increased stress, or it can improve our relationships and give us a greater sense of control over ourselves and our environments. Explore the causes and effects of conflict, and learn how to manage it through effective communication, active listening, and problem solving.