One of the more common definitions of conflict is that it is a clash between two (or more) opposing groups or that it is a power struggle or a battle between opposing forces.

When you think of conflict, you may think of it as a negative (think power struggle or battle) or you may think that it must always be about other people. Some of you may go as far as to believe that if it were not for other people you would never have to deal with conflict.

Today, I ask you to consider a few questions. Unless you decide to share this with other people, you are the only one who is going to know your answers.

1) What was the nature of the most recent conflict you faced? Or
What is a current conflict you are facing?
2) What is really causing the conflict?
a. You and another person have incompatible concerns or wishes?
b. You don’t like how someone else is behaving?
c. You don’t like how you are behaving?
d. You feel like you are being pushed in a direction that you do not like?
e. You feel like you are being pushed to make a decision you are not ready to make?
f. No it is something else!
3) Do you know how you want the conflict to be resolved? In other words, what do you want the outcome to be?
4) Is your desired outcome equitable to everyone or just to you?

OK, these four questions are enough for now. Do you see a common theme in the questions above? YOU are the common theme. I am asking you to really understand your part in the conflict. It is easy to blame a conflict on an external force (another person, an event beyond your control). But the reason you are experiencing conflict is because you are not reconciled with your role. It really is important for you to know the true nature of any conflict you are facing. Is it really about not wanting to work on project X or is it that you really wanted to be in charge of project X? Do you really not like working with John Doe or do you not like the fact that he brings out the worst in you?

There can be plenty to think about. It is well worth the time. As you become more aware of what causes you to feel conflicted, you will become more aware of the best way to handle yourself when you experience conflict. Remember, you cannot control the actions of others; you can only control your own actions.

Now, look in the mirror. See that fabulous face staring back at you? That my friend is the face of conflict. That is OK, you will face conflict everyday. Once you become comfortable with conflict and with what causes you conflict and how you want to handle that conflict, that face looking back at you should be all smiles.


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Author's Bio: 

Margaret developed a passionate belief that it takes courage and skill to be human at work and that all individuals have a responsibility to treat each other with dignity, respect and compassion.

Motivated by her beliefs and the desire to make a difference in the lives of others, Margaret acted on her vision by founding Meloni Coaching Solutions, Inc. Her vision is to create a group of successful individuals who are at peace with their authentic selves; a group of people who help and support others; a group who bring humanity to the office and thrive because of it. Margaret sees a world where achieving peace and achieving success go hand-in-hand.

Margaret’s students and clients often find that what she really brings them is freedom to bring their authentic selves to the office. As a former Information Technology Executive, Margaret always knew her preference was for the people behind the technology. Now Margaret brings those beliefs to individuals from many professional backgrounds. The common thread across her client base is the desire to experience peace at work and the recognition that peace is not absence of conflict, peace is the ability to cope with conflict. For these people, Margaret Meloni is truly ‘A Path to Peace’. ™

You can learn more about Margaret and her courses, programs, and products at:

Additional Resources covering Conflict Resolution can be found at:

Website Directory for Conflict Resolution
Articles on Conflict Resolution
Products for Conflict Resolution
Discussion Board
Margaret Meloni, the Official Guide to Conflict Resolution