Resolving Conflicts in a Healthy Way

Humans as a people are filled with contradictions. We are made of opposites, sometimes kind, sometimes cruel, sometimes clever, sometimes foolish. We are made of every different quality and idea and all of these traits are going to come into contact with each other at some point. Sometimes, the meetings of these traits and ideas are amicable and nothing bad happens. They can slip right by each other and there’s never any other problems other than the two clashing concepts or ideas being near each other. For example, a person can enjoy Hollywood dramas while another person that they know enjoys science fiction novels. These two things are quite different but they aren’t in conflict with each other at all. They are just different and people can be friends even if they don’t enjoy the exact same things. A person can be into romance movies and have a friend who never watches romance movies and doesn’t care too. For opposite personalities, for different tastes, there is always some wiggle room and also a place to compromise if you or the other person need it. If someone was righteously angry that someone else didn’t enjoy chocolate cake we would rightfully consider that person to have extensive mental issues. We are all different and that difference is fine. Variety adds to an enriching life, after all. But, unfortunately, these differences in taste aren’t quite the same as when you have a difference in plans or ideas. Contrasting plans, ideas or goals is going to breed a lot of conflict in any environment. It has bred conflict in many environments and places and it will continue to. Just look at the story of human history and you’ll see just how true this is. But what are some of these different types of conflicts and where do they take place? How do we sort them out when they arise and how do we make sure everyone gets a small piece of what they want?
Conflicts in Interpersonal Relationships
Unfortunately, while other places of conflict can be solved by something as simple as facilitating team leaders, that doesn’t usually work when it comes to interpersonal conflicts. Interpersonal conflicts have no need for either party to get into facilitating team leaders or something that gets into power politics or anything like that. They are often deeply rooted, highly emotional and highly complex. For example, let’s take two parents who are getting divorced. This is typically a very difficult process and will involve some sort of external divorce mediation, couples mediation, a consideration of divorce separation and property agreements and other high level interpersonal considerations that often have multiple layers. That doesn’t even touch on the family mediation that will need to be done or the cost of counselling or therapy for children. The thing to know about interpersonal conflict is that it’s not usual logical or based on rational argument or issue. That sounds counter intuitive but it is absolutely true. So when approaching interpersonal conflict you should do it with empathy and compassion for the other person.
Mediating Workplace Conflicts
Meditating workplace conflicts is a very different animal and, luckily, one that is a little easier given the usual circumstances. If there is something as simple as trying to figure out who is going to clean the coffee filter, then that can be solved with a few cool heads and conversations. There is no need to start facilitating team leaders or anything for a problem so small. That’s if you and your colleagues are lucky, though. For more complicated problems, like who is going to head up a project team, you will need to start facilitating team leaders or, at least, talking about who is most qualified to keep everyone together. Leadership qualities are valuable but they’re also highly specific and not everyone has what it takes. That doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable to a team, however. It just means there are different roles to play. Leaders are there to boost morale and keep everyone on the same page. This is important but without people adept at the project in question, it only gets you so far to being done.

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