The Role of Conflict LO9650

Scott Cypher (
Sat, 31 Aug 1996 11:10:34 -0400

Replying to LO9629 --

Jill, I"m confused.
I don't understand how you can have conflict with the situation, not with
people. I understand what you say in recognizing conflict there is an
opporunity to learn, from how I contributed to the situation, how I react
to the situation, and what I will do different now that I recognize the
conflict and my role in its creation.

It feels if I separate the person from the situation (as you state below),
I also remove that individual or group from their role in creating the
conflict. While I can work on my attitude toward the situation, focusing
on the situation (rather than people) seems to encourage what you called
unfortunate (ignore, pretend, exaggerate).

My assertion is that the people create the situation, and if in that
situation there is conflict, it is a reflection of the peoples intention to
be in conflict. If I as a person choose cooperation over conflict, my
results will reflect that, and I will have cooperative situations, not
conflict one. If there is conflict in the situation, I should consider my
role, and be open to the 1% possibility I really wanted conflict (that's
what I produced). Subsequently, the results reflect personal intentions,
I should work on my relationship with the people, to learn from the
conflict and execute behaviors that would create cooperation.

Help me understand how a conflict situation does not reflect the intentions
of the people involved, that if I am in conflict with a situation, show me
how I am not in conflict with the people.

>Please note, that when I say conflict I don't necessarily mean
>negative confrontation. A whole team of people can work together to solve a
>problem with production, vendor communication or whatever, and do so
>cooperatively and with fun even. The conflict is with the situation, not the
>I agree that conflict is inevitable. The unfortunate thing for me is not
>conflict, but when people ignore it, don't address it, pretend it's not there
>or exaggerate its negative aspects. In my experience the only way an LO can
>truly be an LO is if they take the proactive stance toward conflict and seize
>the inherent opportunity to learn, improve and grow. Learning is borne of

Larry Bowman
The Performance Center at Virginia Tech
1900 Kraft Drive,Suite 200 Blacksburg Va. 24061-0517
Office Phone (540) 231-3347

-- (Scott Cypher)

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