Conflict: Is it always bad?

We routinely talk about preventing conflict, reducing conflict, and resolving conflict.  When we do, we sound as if we are characterizing conflict as always a bad thing.  Without a doubt, conflict can cause significant and lasting damage, both economic and non-economic.  Those negative effects, understandably, receive a lot of attention.

Yet conflict can be good. When conflict is constructive it can foster creative thinking, more carefully considered options, and a better final result.  Stifling dissent can be as damaging as permitting destructive conflict to take hold and grow.

The challenge, then, may be not to end all conflict. Instead, the goal may be to channel conflict in a positive direction.

Posted in Basics of Mediation and Conflict, Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

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