In the United States today, conflict among individuals is the one factor that plays the primary role in the breakdown of communication between people. Regardless of how well we think we have made our point, that we have been very persuasive, and that our message has been delivered and that we even have people agreeing with us, we will eventually run into conflicts. Learning how to recognize conflict, the damage it can create, and how to resolve it is a vital part of successful human communication.
This next few posts will deal with conflict and how we can resolve it. In order to understand what the problems are and how we can overcome them we must first understand
A definition of conflict – What is conflict? Simply put conflict is when two or more people disagree about something. That sounds simple enough but what causes disagreements? That’s where things get a little more confusing, because conflicts can be caused by a wide variety of reasons.
Different goals – One of the basic problems is that people often have different goals. For example, when our spouse wants a new car and we want a boat, we will have different goals. Maybe our spouse wants us to save our money for the future, but we want to spend it on a vacation. That will cause a conflict.
In business, when we have a management team, one wants to focus on sales but doesn’t really care about customer service while the other person wants to improve customer service. Those are all situations that will cause a conflict. Conflicts are generated from people having different opinions about the best way to solve a problem or how to best achieve their goals. While having different goals is a potential flashpoint that is not the only reason.
In my next post, I’ll take a look at Values and Viewpoints – When people have different values and viewpoints there is also the potential for conflict. It’s important to understand the difference between values and viewpoints, because while they are often connected they are not the same.
Until next time, think about those occasions when you’ve found yourself involved in a conflict situation. It could be a simple one on one, or in a group. Until then, you can check out my newsletter on Substack, it’s right HERE