Organizational conflict

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“Conflict is defined as any situation in which incompatible goals, attitudes, emotions, or behaviors lead to disagreement or opposition between two or more parties” (Nelson, 2013, p.472). In my line of work, conflict is important and even relished; a collision of ideas, different approaches to achieve goals, and passionate emotions are essential to group and/or individual creativity. “Functional conflict can produce new ideas, learning, and growth among individuals. When individuals engage in constructive conflict, they develop a better awareness of themselves and others. Because it tends to encourage creativity among individuals, this positive form of conflict can translate into increased productivity” (Nelson, 2013, p.472). Focused conflict centered on achieving common goals often generates innovation. I enjoy the passion of my Gen Y employees, and I have learned much from them by leveraging this conflict. Yes, some might see me as “one who starts trouble,” but my intention is to bring out the best of those in my sphere of influence. Over the years, I have learned a few key factors in functional conflict: 1) Debate along the way – don’t hold back and explode down the line, 2) Maintain goal perspective – don’t attack individuals – attack the goal, and 3) Celebrate differences – embracing individual uniqueness generates value. “One effective technique for resolving conflict is to appeal to a superordinate goal—in effect, to focus the parties on a larger issue on which

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