Dealing with conflict

The word conflict carries a lot of negative baggage, and most people seek to avoid it. However, as any businessperson will tell you, conflict will eventually happen. Conflict is a natural and necessary part of doing business, so managers who seek to eliminate all forms of conflict in their workplace are not doing themselves, their employees, or their businesses any favors. Just because no one mentions any conflict to their manager does not mean that none exist, or that these unacknowledged conflicts have no negative impacts.

Properly handled, functional conflict challenges the status quo and spurs the company forward to improvement. Dysfunctional conflict is a drag on the company and a waste of time and other valuable resources. A manager who can properly differentiate between the two and apply the appropriate conflict management style will be better equipped to deal with the inevitable …

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