CONFLICT AND HOW TO MANAGE ITIntroductionConflict is unnecessary, but inevitable. Even if you never create conflict, it will find you because conflict is part of the human condition.
But you don’t need to think of conflict as a Jurassic Park monster or a Freddy Krueger psychopath that is lurking in the shadows somewhere ready to attack and destroy you. While it is true that conflict is usually unpleasant and can be dangerous, conflict can also be beneficial.
Each of us has had times of conflict with friends or family members and can recall its strong emotions—anger, fear, sorrow, despair, loneliness. But when we think back to those times we recognize that we learned some lessons, and can even recall that a relationship was strengthened in spite of the conflict. Maybe it was because of the conflict that we got some things out in the open and resolved things that had been harming the relationship.
Conflict is the result of differences. These differences may be between two people, a person and a group, or between groups. The differences may or may not be real. If people think there is a difference, it may have as powerful effect upon them as if it actually existed.
It is unproductive to try to hide from conflict. When conflict exists, it finds its way into action. Instead of trying to ignore conflict, you can learn what it is and where it comes from. You can learn to manage conflict effectively.
It is not always easy to face conflict head on. It is, however, easy to learn how. Therefore, you can enter a conflict situation knowing what to do and how to do it. With experience, you will let go of fear and grab hold of confidence—and that’s a trade worth making!
As a result of what you can learn from this book and CD you will be able to respond to conflict in a manner that is both polite and forceful, and minimize the chance of “taking a direct hit.” That is the objective, and you will reach that objective if you read thoughtfully, rehearse and practice the skills, and then apply the principles and skills to a “real life” situation. I wish you well in your efforts.