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The Nature of Conflict

Conflict is an entirely natural consequence of human interaction.

Its occurrence is likely to be expected wherever groups of people have common interests or are tasked with complimentary activities, especially in stressful or challenging environments.

Through life experience we learn how deal with situations where this arises with those we have professional or social relationships with. We learn coping techniques that allow us to resolve issues adequately, so that both parties can move on. Our communities are built on the natural ebb and flow of these interrelationships.

Sometimes, either because we are intimately involved with the issue, or that the stakes are very high, or perhaps due to the complexity of the issue, resolution can seem elusive. Mediators specialize in responding to exactly these types of situations

Fight with Cudgels, Francisco Goya c. 1820–1823

400px-Francisco_de_Goya_y_Lucientes_-_Duelo_a_garrotazos

Unfortunately, serious conflict can often arise in families, communities and workplaces. The majority of these situations resolve themselves and a new equilibrium evolves. Others do not, resulting in broken relationships, detached social circles or toxicity between colleagues.

Human nature being what it is the natural tendency is to put distance, physical or psychological, between the disputants. Partially effective, these types of solutions can often be maintained indefinitely. When other factors don’t (or won’t) allow this, the destructive nature of conflict, physical violence, is likely.

“Hopes, even if unrealistic, may cause war. Facts, even if established, may do nothing to solve the problem”

William Ury, international mediator and bestselling author.

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