Felisa S. Batiw-an
Author Mary Foster shares that conflict is a natural part of our workplace and personal lives. It happens to even the healthiest or strongest friendship or relationship. After all, no two people
can be expected to agree on everything, all the time. In any setting like the workplace, conflicts
occur. In school, teachers disagree on some matters. They do not always have the same viewpoints
on certain issues. Sometimes personality clash happen.
Conflict arises from differences, both large and small. It occurs whenever people disagree over their values, motivations, perceptions, ideas, or desire. Sometimes these differences appear trivial, but when a conflict triggers strong feelings, a deep personal need is often at the core of the problem. These needs can be a need to feel respected and valued, or a need for greater closeness and intimacy.
The ideal is not to evade conflict but to learn how to resolve it in a healthy way. When conflict
is mishandled, it can cause great harm to a relationship, but when properly managed in a respectful, positive way, conflict provides an opportunity to strengthen the bond between two people because come to think of it, conflicts are an opportunity for growth. When you’re able to resolve conflict in a relationship, it builds trust. You can feel secure knowing your relationship can survive challenges and disagreements.
You can keep your personal and professional relationship strong and growing by learning skills concerning dispute or conflict resolution. Whatever the cause of disagreements, it can be settled by employing positive approaches that have the ability to prevent things from escalating. I have learned that one creative and really positive strategy to resolve arguments and avoid confrontations is by communicating in a humorous way. Humor can help you say things that might otherwise be difficult to express without offending someone.
However, it’s important that you laugh with the other person, not at them. When humor and play are used to reduce tension and anger, reframe problems, and put the situation into perspective, the conflict can actually become an opportunity for greater connection and intimacy. An example of a humor that dispelled a possible conflict between workmates happened between a faculty president and a fellow teacher.
When the latter commented a bit unpleasantly on the food which the food committee prepared for a send-off party in honor of a colleague who was promoted and assigned to another school. The faculty president, exhausted due to the many preparations he coordinated related to the activity, responded very politely by saying: “Don’t worry, I will do all the improvement on your send-off, hehe” eliciting laughter from the faculty. Of course, I am not saying this is the best response to the situation. There absolutely are better ways but certainly humor is an entirely effective way to avoid disagreement from getting worse.