For as long as human beings have walked the earth, conflict has been a part of the landscape, whether over food, property, power, control, or relationships. As the number of interactions between parties increase, the opportunities for disagreements between them also increase because interaction can bring differences to the foreground (Dattilio, 2011). Conflict is inevitable between human beings because it is part of the human condition. Much of the reconciliation perspective should be predicated upon the removal of the emotional barriers between the warring parties. These include the emotions that are associated with perceptions of having been victimized by an adversary and feelings of distrust that have accumulated during the conflict period (Dattilio, 2011). By Conflict resolution is meant a range of formal or informal activities undertaken by parties to a conflict, or outsiders, conceived to limit, reduce, and transform the level of violence in conflict (Bercovitch & Jackson, 2009:1). Conflict resolution is not about suppressing, eliminating, or controlling conflicts. Through this process it is deemed important to achieve some understanding on the key issues in conflict (also psychological issues), to forge sustainable political agreements (not losing the sight of post-implementation processes), or jointly acceptable decisions on future interactions and distribution of resources. In the end, being concerned with conflicts increase the awareness of shared humanity among actors.
Not less demanding is the Conflict resolution action on the workplace be it in the private sector, Governments, or International organizations. According to a survey by the CBI (Confederation of British Industry), conflict in the work-place costs UK business £33 billion per year, taking up 20% of leadership time and potentially losing up to 370 million working days. Decreased delivering capacity to the citizens and credibility, increased stress among employees and absenteeism are other non-measurable, though burdensome, costs of conflict in workplace.
Too often, actions put in place by the management consist of strategies aiming at avoiding, or at postponing, the conflict.
Let’s face the reality: conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. In our view, key strategies to prevent, manage, and solve the conflict and to avoid it becoming disruptive is deemed of main importance. Then, carrying out a needs analysis of the organization/institution/enterprise and addressing the root causes of the issues at the stake (performance discrepancies, compensation issues, power struggle) and their apparent manifestations (e.g. ‘inflammatory language’) is a huge work to gain deep information and cognition in building up efficient need-based and tailored training processes and coaching activities.