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What Is Conflict?

What Is Conflict?

The word conflict is often used to describe a wide range of disagreements—everything from minor squabbles to dysfunctional relationships to all-out war. At its core, conflict is disharmony, dissension, division, and discord between people, interests, or ideas. Conflict is also natural, and inherent to the human experience. Where there are people, there will be conflict.

Individuals perceive conflict differently, and those differences can make managing conflict extremely difficult. What to one person is a full-scale battle to another person is an opportunity to discuss divergent views. One person may define a poor relationship as conflict, but someone else may see the same relationship as difficult but not unusual—just what’s expected when working with people who hold different perspectives. These disparate views about conflict can be even more disconcerting when the conflict is between you and your boss.


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