Constructive and Destructive Aspects of Conflict 

from Judy's notebook

Constructive Aspects of Conflict 

  • better ideas are produced 
  • people are forced to look at new approaches 
  • long standing problems surface and can be dealt with 
  • people are forced to clarify their views 
  • tension stimulates interest and creativity 
  • people have a chance to test their capability 
  • opens up issues of importance, resulting in their clarification 
  • increases the involvement of individuals in issue of importance to them 
  • serves as a release to pent-up emotion, anxiety, and stress 
  • helps build cohesiveness among people by sharing the conflict, celebrating in its settlement, 

  • and learning more about each other 

Destructive Aspects of Conflict 

  • defeat or demean people 
  • creates distance between people 
  • climate of distrust and suspicion develops 
  • people or departments defend their narrow interests 
  • resistance (active or passive) develops where teamwork is needed 
  • causes turnover 
  • diverts energy from more important activities and issues 
  • destroys the morale of people or reinforces poor self-concepts 
  • polarizes groups so they increase internal cohesiveness and reduces inter-group co-operation 
  • deepens differences in values 

  • produces irresponsibility and regrettable behavior such as name-calling and fighting 

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    Contents of this page are taken from Judy's counseling notebook: original author is not known.