What is Destructive Conflict & Constructive Conflict?
We all deal with conflicts on a daily basis. Conflicts arise when people hold opposing viewpoints on the same issue. This could happen at work, at home, or on other social occasions. Since the beginning of time, conflict has been an element of human life. There are, however, two primary categories of disagreement. There are two types of conflict: destructive and constructive. As time goes on, both sorts of conflict will be covered.
What is Destructive Conflict and How Can It Be Avoided?
When disagreements turn hostile instead of peaceful, it’s called destructive conflict. Before it has an impact on the staff’s morale, performance, or motivation, or on the wider public, this type of dispute must be controlled.
In a destructive conflict situation, no party is satisfied with the outcome, gains are not recouped, and the gloomy flavour left over at the end of the episode lingers throughout the next phase of the conflict. As a result, they have created a downward cycle or deteriorated conflict. According to some researchers, damaging confrontations are more likely to occur when actions are based on competitive and rigid systems.
What is Constructive Conflict and How Does It Work?
When conflicts are constructive, they tend to lead to peace and a long-term resolution. Destructive conflict is the polar opposite of constructive conflict. It’s called constructive conflict because it offers answers to problems that are accepted by all parties concerned.
Constructive conflict necessitates a certain level of cooperation as well as a willingness to prioritise “problem-solving attitudes” over “getting my way attitudes.” Both parties are more concerned with addressing the problem than with being correct.
Destructive Conflict Characteristics
- Destructive conflict divides people by their differences.
This sort of conflict causes division among coworkers, neighbours, businesses, and other groups. The parties involved in this form of conflict hold opposing viewpoints.
- Unhealthy competitiveness is at the root of destructive conflict.
In a destructive conflict, the parties are in a furious competition. Both parties desire to be viewed as superior to the other. They will go to any length to defeat the other party. It’s all about who’s the most powerful and who has the most following. These confrontations are fueled by political considerations.
- Aggression and Dominance
Parties in this sort of dispute are constantly attempting to exert dominance over one another. To get the upper hand, they utilise aggressiveness and other forms of physical abuse.
- The conflict resolution process is unimportant to the parties involved.
All forms of problems are resolved using conflict resolution approaches. Destructive conflicts, on the other hand, increase the conflict rather than finding solutions.
- It’s a one-way street when it comes to destructive disagreement.
Because one party is continuously striving to win the other, destructive conflict is a one-way process. Irrationality, aversion to change, and a restricted vision are all characteristics of conflict.
Constructive Conflict Characteristics
- Conflict that is constructive affirms differences.
Constructive conflict recognises and capitalises on differences in order to accomplish desired outcomes.
- Participatory conflict is constructive.
This is a win-win situation for everyone involved. It aids in the provision of long-term solutions to challenges. Participants are given equal power. Instead than focusing on individual goals, it focuses on group goals.
- Genuineness, humility, and respect are the cornerstones of constructive conflict.
All sides can listen, ask questions, affirm others’ perspectives, validate queries, and respond in constructive conflict. This style of discussion aids in the rapid discovery of long-term solutions to the disagreement.
- It’s a two-way street when it comes to constructive conflict.
Parties can exchange views and come at mutually accepted conclusions. It’s all about staying focused on the task at hand, being open to change, and being sensible.
- Constructive conflict necessitates a significant amount of personal accountability.
It’s all about striking a balance between taking and giving in this type of confrontation. The answer is found by listening to others’ suggestions and expressing yourself.
Putting an End to Destructive Conflict
As soon as destructive conflict is detected or reported, it must be addressed. This keeps the situation from worsening, which would lower team morale and productivity even more. Stopping destructive disagreement also eliminates the possibility of legal repercussions.
Having a current employee handbook that is provided to all employees is the first step in preventing damaging conflict. A part of the handbook should outline the company’s practises for resolving conflicts and reporting harassing or discriminating behaviour. The protocol should specify how the organisation responds in these situations, as well as any disciplinary actions that may be taken as a result. To assist prevent harmful dispute from growing, train staff on communication skills as well as corporate policies.
Constructive Conflict Promotion
Encourage constructive conflict to enable team members see different perspectives, viewpoints, and methods of doing things. As the University of Oklahoma’s Human Resources Department points out, once a conflict has been resolved, it is frequently a sign of forthcoming personal or professional improvement. To help employees establish genuine respect for one another, encourage them to express their viewpoints at team meetings and perform team-building exercises. Work on communication skills to teach staff how to communicate appropriately and listen to the viewpoints of others. Hold diversity events to recognize and celebrate the team’s many ethnic backgrounds.
When it comes to constructive conflict, managers have a unique role to play: employee reviews. These are frequently stressful situations for everyone. When approached as a means of helping employees improve in all areas, the dispute shifts from negative criticism to positive development.