August 04, 2008

Differentiating Between Constructive and Destructive Conflict

Mediator and conflict resolution coach Dr. Tammy Lenski offers pointers on recognizing whether conflict is healthy. Indicators of constructive conflict include:
  • Forward movement in the conversation–even if it’s unfriendly;
  • Parties seem reasonably comfortable; and
  • Statements may be difficult to hear but are not meant to be harmful.
If a conflict is still positive, intervention might be premature. On the other hand, Lesinski says it is important for conflict professionals to recognize the warning signs of destructive conflict:
  • Parties have become rigid in their positions;
  • Direct communications are diminishing or absent;
  • The dispute has become more about prevailing that the underlying issue;
  • The dispute has begun to involve others; and
  • Retaliation and attempts at coercion are becoming more frequent.
(Mediation Works Blog; Conflict Zen.)

No comments:

Post a Comment