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What is conflict management?


Conflict is the process in which one party (person or group) perceives that its interests are being opposed or negatively affected by another party. This implies some incompatible concerns among the people involved and includes a variety of conflict issues and events. Conflict management consists of diagnostic processes, interpersonal styles and negotiation strategies that are designed to avoid unnecessary conflict and reduce or resolve excessive conflict.
 
There are three types of intra-personal (within an individual) conflict that may be associated with trying to make a decision. In approach-approach conflict, an individual must choose among two or more alternatives, each of which is expected to have positive outcomes. A child trying to select one of four liked flavors of ice cream faces an approach-approach conflict. In an avoidance-avoidance conflict, an individual must choose among two or more alternatives, each of which is expected to have negative outcomes. The choice of resigning or being fired from one's job would be an example of an avoidance-avoidance conflict.  In the approach-avoidance conflict, an individual must decide whether to do something that is expected to have both positive and negative outcomes, such as reporting unethical actions by one's boss, this might lead to positive recognition for courage by upper-level management, but distrust and dislike by peers and members of lower management who view the action as disloyal and potentially threatening.
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