At what point does one speak of a conflict?
Conflicts are a part of our working and private lives. About two thirds of the German population regularly experience conflicts in their immediate environment. Studies on conflicts in the workplace also show that on average 15% of working time in German companies is spent on conflict management. But at what point does one speak of a conflict? Conflict researcher Friedrich Glasl defines a conflict as an interaction between two or more participants in which at least one of the persons involved experiences incompatibilities and feels affected by them. There are various signs that can indicate a conflict, such as a tense and irritable atmosphere or the formation of cliques.
What opportunities do conflicts offer?
Conflicts are often seen as something negative because they usually trigger unpleasant feelings on an emotional level. For those involved, conflicts can be stressful and energy-draining, which is why open discussion or confrontation is avoided. However, conflicts also offer a great opportunity and the potential to learn.
Non-violent communication as a method of dealing with conflict situations
As soon as tensions or other indications of conflict are perceived, they should be responded to. Marshall B. Rosenberg’s four steps of non-violent communication provide a helpful approach to dealing with everyday communication, and conflict situations and to preparing for conflict resolution, being based on empathetic and respectful communication.