The word itself can set up negative reactions in some people. And yet, it’s just a fact of life:  people have differences – in ideas, values, and preferred ways of acting. When we do not handle our differences well, conflict can develop.

The key word in the paragraph above is “handle”, because we cannot eliminate conflict. In fact, creativity and problem-solving depend on a wide range of differing ideas and styles rubbing productively up against each other. The skills needed to handle well the differences between and among us is what makes the difference between a destructive fight and an innovative exchange. Fortunately, these skills are well known and can be acquired.

Each of us constitutes one piece of the puzzle, bringing a unique aspect of the total vision. Acquiring the ability to appreciate and build on each other’s ideas is worth the time and effort required.  Well functioning conflict resolution skills are the tools we need to flourish because of – not despite – our differences.

In this section you will learn about these basic tools and how to use them. Let us know what you think of the information. Thanks!

Carol J. Sutton Cert.ConRes.