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Three causes of conflict

When it comes to conflict it is important to understand the underlying cause. Here are three categories of possible causes:
  • Goals or objectives
  • How to achieve the goals or objectives
  • Values
Goals or objectives - this is where there is a difference in what each persons believes to be the goal. This could range from having totally different goals to seeing the importance of the goal differently.

How to achieve the goals or objectives - the goal is not in question but how to go about achieving it is.

Values - a difference in personal values can affect both the goals to strive for and how people believe they should be achieved. But they can also cause conflict on other levels. For example someone who values tasks (getting things done) might conflict with someone who values relationships (how people relate doing the task). The tasks person might be worried about getting the thing finished by the deadline while the relationships person is worried about the impact on staff the deadlines will have. They value different things.

If ever there is conflict see if you can categorise the cause. It may help you understand it better and find solutions to it.
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