By Rashid Obaid.
Conflict happens in our daily life, sometimes we feel it and sometimes we don’t. There are two kinds of conflict and they are positive and negative. The positive conflict is the kind of conflict that is considered healthy and gets to results that makes us improve our selves, like competition or argument that leads to a better understanding of subjects. The perfect example can be seen in learning (when students study, they always argue what will be the best way to learn. There is also a conflict in the work place between employees with each other’s and employees and their supervisors. Negative conflicts are the kinds of conflicts that never help anyone improve, or don’t lead to an improvement such as wars (the perfect example that comes to mind is the Arab world. These days there are people rising against their governments for a reason and some for no reason). Negative conflicts are the ones that people should avoid especially in the work place because it could hinder the progress of the department and the organization as a whole. When it comes to conflict it’s not always between a person and another. There are conflicts that a person with his\her inner self. This is called intrapersonal conflict this kind of conflict happens when you’re faced with difficult decisions (these situations might even put you against your values but the reward might be big.) Now let’s explain how some of these conflicts start, if we are talking about employees I think difficult task comes to mind. Difficult task always makes employees angry and this creates conflict wither its being unable to finish the project in time or feeling not knowing how to proceed. Another source of conflict is different values, this is more common when people come from different cultures and they take their values with them. Some cultures don’t believe in being modest so they would always brag about their achievements while others are very humble and whenever they archive something, or some cultures are very grateful, so whenever you do them a favor they can’t forget it and they have to repay it, while other don’t even think about repaying it. Threat to status is the core of conflict; this is very dangerous for both employees and supervisors. Employees feel threaten for their positions whenever they see new employees they might not help them because they think they will take their jobs, but supervisors situations are worse they might fire anyone that might be better than them and might take their position in the future. There is also a lack of trust, this can be in many different ways such as employees with each other or employees with the management when there is no trust between them and the chain of command breaks and everybody works on their own which will cause destroying any chance of group work. This can be very devastating to any organization and if it ever occurs there is a very good chance that this organization might collapse. Also we have personality differences that effect employees when there are people who are negative thinkers and others that are positive, they conflict with each other and might not be willing to work together and if they work they will not raise the standards. There are a variety of advantages and disadvantages to conflict.
• Parties learn each other’s preferences and views
• Provides stimulus to find improved approaches that lead to better results
• Energizes creativity, promotes experimentation
• Hidden problems are brought to the surface
• Deeper understanding among the parties
• Once the conflict is resolved, individuals may be more committed to the outcome.
The disadvantages could contain the following:
• Cooperation and teamwork may deteriorate
• Distrust may grow
• Individuals may feel defeated
• Self-image may decline
• Stress levels may rise
• Reduced motivation
Conflict can be healthy to help anyone gets ahead in life if It’s taken as a positive experience, even competition is very healthy which is considered as a kind of conflict.
Now I will give an example from my personal life, I love to compete wither it is win or a loss, is not a problem with me, but whenever facing a sore loser I have to let him win.