Conflict comes with the territory called business. It is necessary and indispensable. Conflict is either destructive or constructive. It is constructive when it is functional; it is destructive when it is not channeled. Conflict is like energy or rushing water. Unless it is utilized for a purpose, it finds its own purpose.
The task of conflict management is to channel conflict which is potentially a destructive force to be constructive by developing and nurturing a climate of mutual respect and trust in an organization.
Many conflicts are a result of what you consider another person’s difficult behaviors: temper tantrums, personal attacks, manipulation, threats, refusals to communicate. The underlying cause of conflict is individual differences.
Dealing with conflict and confrontation is one of the most important skills you can learn. Most of us have a certain dread of confrontation–we fear being cheated; we’re scared of letting others know what we really think and feel for fear they’ll use it against us; we believe our honesty will hurt others, so we avoid confrontation or put on a strong front.
Your choice of conflict management strategy will depend primarily on how much you care about meeting your goals versus how much you care about other people meeting their goals. A concern for both party’s interests is called the win-win model and provides the best chance for improved relationships.