Disagreement - or conflict?

Sometimes people treat the words “disagreement” and “conflict” as interchangeable.

But they are really two different things.

Disagreement usually means a dispute which can often be easily resolved.

Sometimes disagreement can be a driver towards progress – think of a group proposing, considering and accepting/rejecting the options for a major new project.

Conflict arises when people have opposing opinions, values and beliefs.

These disputes can be so deep-seated that the origin is hard to pinpoint. But their effects are often obvious:

  • poor individual and group performance
  • decreasing motivation
  • increasing financial, personal and reputational drains on the business.

Although causes of conflict are often hidden, a workplace mediation can help the parties in a dispute recognise those causes – and, more importantly, identify the common interests which can be the basis for a new mutual understanding.

© Osborne Mediation 2019