Conflict can threaten relationships. Conflict, a natural state between people learning to live together, needs to be embraced as a natural part of the relationship, not a reason to breakup.
It is our nature to be in conflicted situations. So why do we try to avoid it?
People shy away from conflict thinking that by avoiding conflict they are making their lives better, more serene. In fact, they may be allowing a bigger, underlying problem to fester and grow.
People enjoy solving problems and puzzles. This is the creative part of dispute resolution, identifying and solving problems.
Typically there is an underlying problem causing two people to disagree on small, unimportant issues. Engaging in a healthy dispute resolution process may reveal unexpected relationship obstacles or problems. If these underlying problems are identified and addressed constructively, this process can lead to a healthier, happier relationship.
Negotiating or conflict resolution is about finding ways to work with another person or group to resolve differences, differences that naturally and inevitably occur in any relationship. How we choose to handle such conflict determines if we improve or impair our relationships.
In Seven Secrets to WINNING Without Losing a Friend, I discuss the importance of finding mutually viable solutions to challenges in our relationships at home, with friends, at school or at work.