Conflict can have many causes – disagreements about who does what, or about how things are done, as well as disagreements related to personality and style. And inevitably, conflicts will arise in the workplace, so it's critical to be able to deal with them successfully. If you avoid conflict that requires quick, decisive action, or if you take an aggressive approach when you need to gain the commitment of the other person, you may make the situation worse. Unresolved conflict can intensify and hinder your productivity as you spend more time worrying about the conflict than achieving your goals. And remember, the costs of prolonged conflict can be high – negative emotions, blocked communication, and stress. But choosing the appropriate response based on the type of conflict is important. When you address conflict properly, you will experience a number of benefits: it can enhance your creativity and it can strengthen your relationships, for example.
This course describes these and other benefits of conflict. It also explains the types of conflict situations you're likely to face in the workplace and describes appropriate responses depending on the outcome you want. Materials designed to support blended learning activities aligned with this course are available from the Resources Page.Learning Objectives
- Classify a given conflict situation based on its type and severity
- Respond appropriately to a given conflict situation
- Recognize positive effects of conflict in the workplace