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Understanding Conflict

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Conflict Resolution
Understanding Conflict
Understanding Conflict
• Conflict is all around us. It is not
something that we can choose to have or
not have. It just is.
• It may center on something as seemingly
trivial as who leaves their dirty cups in the
sink, where to go eat lunch, or whether or
not to buy that new piece of stereo
equipment.
Understanding Conflict
• Or it may be more complex, such as
whether we should invest in stock or
bonds, or what college your child should
attend to get the best education.
Understanding Conflict
• This course is not about avoiding conflict.
Avoiding it is not only impossible but
undesirable.
• This course is about discovering
productive ways of handling conflict, ways
that make a difference in all areas of our
lives.
Understanding Conflict
• Conflict can be considered:
• Fight
• Disagreement
• War
• Difference of opinion or perspective; such
as between a mechanic and inspector.
• Differences in personality
Understanding Conflict
• Think of a conflict which has been handled in a
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destructive manner…Some of the resulting
outcomes of this were probably:
Tension
Unresolved Problems
Stress
Low Productivity
Sour Relationships
Ill Health
Resentment
Understanding Conflict
• Now think of a conflict that has been handled
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constructively. Some results of this may have
been:
Relaxation
Higher Productivity
Good Health
Sense of Achievement
Increased Confidence
Expanding Friendly Relations
Understanding Conflict
• We have all had the experiences of
handling conflict both constructively and
destructively. The outcomes of conflicts
handled constructively are so much more
attractive that it is hard to imagine we
would settle for less.
Understanding Conflict
• There are several stages we can go
through before we reach the level of
conflict.
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict
Discomfort
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict - Discomfort
• Perhaps nothing is said as yet, however
things don’t feel right.
• It maybe difficult at this stage to identify
what the problem is.
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict
Discomfort
Incident
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict - Incident
• A short sharp exchange may occur without
any lasting internal reaction.
• Something may have occurred between
you and someone else that has left you
upset, irritated or with a result you did not
want.
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict
Discomfort
Incident
Misunderstanding
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict -Misunderstanding
• The details of a situation may be unclear.
The motive or intent of a situation not
fully understood by the parties involved.
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict
Discomfort
Incident
Misunderstanding
Tension
Understanding Conflict
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Level of Conflict - Tension
You may start feeling anxious about your relationship
with the other person.
Maybe you are at the point where just one more nudge
will “push you over the edge”, ready to give them a
“piece of your mind”.
This level may build to the point where each interaction
with this person confirms your negative attitude towards
them.
The relationship may become a cause for constant worry
and concern.
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict
Discomfort
Incident
Misunderstanding
Tension
Crisis
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict – Crisis
• Behavior is affected and normal functioning
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starts to become difficult.
No longer talking to the other individual.
Or conversely, screaming at one another.
Quitting your job or worse yet be dismissed.
Throw china, or whatever else is close at hand.
Divorce
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict
Discomfort
Stay Alert
Incident
Misunderstanding
Tension
Crisis
Understanding Conflict
Levels of Conflict – Stay Alert
• As you can see we want to avoid ever getting to the
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“crisis” stage.
We should always be on the look out for clues at the
discomfort and incident level.
Dealing with conflict at these levels is much easier than
at crisis stage, where emotions are running high.
By working on solving the issue at the discomfort level
we have a greater chance of achieving a constructive
rather than destructive outcome.
Understanding Conflict
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Summary
Discovered what conflict is and learned the
various levels at which it develops.
Learned to look for the early clues to conflict,
and to stay alert and be ready to act, if and
when appropriate.
One should greet conflict in a positive way,
ready to learn something new or improve on
relationships.
Credit
• We wish to thank the Conflict Resolution
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Network for their generous donation of materials
used in the creation of this presentation.
Conflict Resolution Network
PO Box 1016, Chatswood NSW 2057
Phone: +61 (0)2 9419-8500
Fax: +61 (0)2 9413-1148
Email: crn@crnhq.org
Website: www.crnhq.org
Credit
• This course was created by AMFA Local 11 to
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assist in the education of its Professional
Standards Committee members.
Permission to use this material is granted to any
AMFA Local.
This course was created using materials
provided by The Conflict Resolution Network.
Permission has been extended to use this
material providing credit remains intact on all
modules.
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