Conflict can arise in all aspects of life—both personal and professional. It can negatively impact relationships and productivity among other things when not approached properly. On the flip side however, conflict has its advantages in that it can break things open and foster open communication that can help solve problems more quickly and improve interaction.
Improved Problem Solving
Openly addressing conflict and discussing opposing views can offer many benefits in regard to problem-solving. When everyone expresses her own desires, objections and concerns, it allows the group to come up with the best solution possible that takes into account all sides of the issue and everyone involved. Embracing conflict can also lead to a faster solutions—avoiding it just prolongs tension and delays decisions and purposeful action. It encourages creativity in finding an answer.
When handled properly, conflict can improve the strength of relationships—both personal and professional. Openly discussing differences in opinions allows people to appreciate and benefit from opposing points of view. It also opens the lines for better communication down the line the next time conflict arises. Expressing conflict also helps people understand each other better—their experiences, points of view, values and what is important to them.
One disadvantage—decreased productivity—can have serious consequences for a business. Conflict can drain people of motivation and even put projects at a complete impasse until the problem gets resolved. The stresses of unresolved problems can affect people’s ability to work. Conflict can affect the working environment and relationships between people who rely on each other to get certain tasks done.
Unresolved or poorly handled conflicts can lead to low morale in business and any other type of organisation. Conflicts lead to a host of problems affecting morale like fighting, people feeling like they are not being heard, problems not being properly addressed, resentments and a sense of hopelessness regarding improvement of the situation.
Apathy and Abandonment
Unresolved, festering conflicts can generate feelings of apathy. If people feel a problem cannot be solved, they might just give up on it completely. They no longer want to invest energy in caring and worrying about something if they believe it is beyond repair. People will not take an interest in hashing it out and listening to other perspectives.