As we live in this world, no ordinary man living could ever say he never had any conflict with anyone. Even those declared as saints must have at one time or another been in a conflict or two. But how each one of us handle such conflict is what can set us apart from one another.
To understand the topic much better, let me first discuss with you the theories behind this trouble maker.
What is conflict?
Conflict is an active disagreement between people with opposing opinions or principles. It can be constructive or destructive.
Constructive conflict is a healthy, constructive disagreement between two or more people. This is the type of conflict that can actually benefit people and the organization where such people belong to.
People engaged in constructive conflict develop a better awareness of themselves and others, thus, they are able to produce new ideas, learning, and growth among individuals, leading to innovation and positive change for the organization on which increased productivity may be expected. Working relationships are also improved when two parties work through their disagreement, lifting up morale when tensions are released (Roberto G. Medina, Ph.D., Human Behavior in Organization, p.237).
Destructive Conflict, on the other hand, is quite the opposite of constructive conflict. Destructive Conflicts can decrease work productivity and job satisfaction and contribute to absenteeism and job turnover (p. 238).
There are four (4) levels of conflict:
- Intrapersonal Conflict – the kind of conflict that we face internally as when we experience personal frustration, anxiety, and stress;
- Interpersonal Conflict – the type that occurs between two or more individuals who are in opposition to one another. For example, in the pursuit of their goals and the means for their accomplishment. Emotional conflict (i.e. conflict arising from feelings of anger, dislike or resentment) is another example.
- Intergroup Conflict – this occurs among groups in an organization. This type of conflict is actually quite common in organizations. Nonformal groups, after all, are common even just within an office composed of several employees. Groups that might have different sets of views about certain things in the office or have varying interests that might clash with one another.
- Interorganizational Conflict – that type of conflict that occurs between organizations which is most commonly referred to the competition and rivalry among firms operating in the same markets.
Let us continue the theories of this topic on a further discussion next week. For now, let us focus and apply the theories we have learned so far in the world of the living.
So, have you been in a conflict? Were you the Angel or the devil in that conflict? The villain or the heroine?
So far, from the theories we discussed, we learned that not all conflicts are negative. There are kinds of conflicts that if we only look at it positively can challenge us to do things better, to improve ourselves. By lifting ourself up from the negative concept of clashing with someone, we begin to realize that the situation has helped us instead to strive for the better and our disposition lightens up making us capable now to reach out to the other person and fix up our differences. If the other is willing and of positive disposition, as well, imagine what great things the two of you can possibly create.
So, to end today’s post, let me share another Bible verse that may impart an important reminder to us.