4 Ways to Recognize Bad Conflict
- A breakdown in respectful discussion, combined with an inability to think creatively about solutions.
- Blaming, shaming and naming (name calling).
- Peripheral people taking sides and basing their opinions on raw emotions.
- Disputes based on inaccurate statements, un-examined assumptions, and deeply held beliefs.
- No communication or poor communication.
Bad conflict emerges quickly and easily escalates when people talk at each other rather than to each other. Both parties are likely to become stuck and repeatedly state their position as if it is the only solution. Exploration of exactly what is needed by each person in not part of the exchange. Think "tug-a-war". Usually, in this type of conflict nobody wins. Even the person who thinks they won has frequently cheated themselves out of a more optimal solution and in every case has set the stage for future conflict and probably in an escalated form.
Good communication leads to new perspectives on old problems - not to mention, it's a lot more fun than talking to a brick wall!