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Building Trust - Resolving Conflicts

Updated on December 6, 2020
Pamela99 profile image

I'm interested in social issues, relationships, problems of daily living, jobs, exercise, poems and fiction, plus safer living conditions.


Conflict Occurs in Everyday Life

Conflicts can be a problem even in small businesses, and small business owners have enough pressure today. So, they often avoid addressing those types of problems.

Whether we are talking about businesses, social gatherings or family relationships, conflict is going to happen at some point. The problem is that conflict is usually based on our perceptions, which is not necessarily an objective review of the situation.

Conflict resolution is a way for two or more parties to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement among them. This definition holds true whether the conflict concerns politics, money, emotional or personal situations.

I do not like conflicts at home, and I do not like them at work. You can agree to disagree and avoid the conflicts. Or, you can have a discussion with the agreement that each person is free to express their opinion without any negative reactions from the other person or people. This can be difficult if you feel strongly about the topic, but it is not impossible.

Furthermore, if someone talks to me in a condescending fashion, I will immediately go on the defensive. I think it is a rude and unnecessary way to get your point across. I choose not to react in an angry way, but I will say what is on my mind when this occurs.


Conflicts in Businesses

When there is conflict in businesses it can affect productivity, profit, client relationships and even reach the point of dysfunction where one person might refuse to work with another.

Everyone makes judgments about the people they meet, which may be positive or negative. I tend to like most people, which is probably good as I worked as a nurse for 24 years, and I would consider that a “people business.” I will confront a problem and try to resolve it.

Since hospitals are a type of business, teamwork is more important than ever due to the nursing shortage that has affected almost every state. They are using more nurse practitioners and nursing assistants today, and teamwork is the only way they will survive a more complex healthcare setting. There will still be conflict, but teamwork seems to help avoid many problems.

HR Basics: Workplace Conflict

Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.

--Ronald Reagan

Personal Feelings Always Impact Conflict

I recently had a conversation with my grandson, who just returned from his first six month deployment on a nuclear submarine. I asked him how he liked the work and the people that he worked with closely. He is the type of young man who is very motivated to do well.

He said. “Some of the guys are slackers” and there are three others in his area that work really hard. However, he also said he didn’t like the “competitiveness between them.” One of those competitive young men could see what needed to be done before most people realized what was happening, and my grandson really respected him. My grandson is only 22, and I know he probably had some anxiety about his first deployment. I am so glad he will talk to me about his feelings.

These men work in very close quarters when they are on deployment, so I would imagine a degree of conflict would be normal. Yet, if they weren’t trained to work as a team they would not be nearly as productive. The Navy works hard to build strong teams with a lot of training as their lives may depend on it.

Conflict Resolution

Business or Personal

As for profit making businesses, it would be wise to address conflicts immediately and consider conflict-resolution training if their problems warrant this training. An article in Forbes magazine stated that “leadership and conflict go hand-in-hand”.

The article further states to embrace conflict so you understand the conflict and find a resolution. This article also covered common causes of conflicts, such as jealousy, ego, power struggles, competitive tensions, opposing positions and compensation issues.

I think a few of the same issues are true in personal relationships. My husband and I do not view every situation in the same way, but we communicate. It is okay for him to have a different opinion, as he respects me, and I am not threatened in any way if he does not agree with me all the time.

I also have a sister who views many things differently than I do, but I love her also, and there are some things we just don’t discuss. We still spend time together and have a good time.


Resolving Conflicts

How should conflicts be resolved at work or home? I’m sure most people thought of communication first. Embrace conflict, which means communication so tensions don't build. People in leadership positions have some responsibility to lead in resolving conflicts.

Talking through a problem and making sure you have all the pertinent information assists the chance of resolving most problems. Listening to the other person's opinion is very important to find a resolution.

Don’t use accusatory phrases, but state what you think and why. If someone is enraged, no communication will be productive, and I would simply walk away until that person had time to cool off.

In personal relationships, the sooner you discuss any problem the better chance you have at resolution. I have learned to pick my battles over the years. Some things aren’t worth arguing over, and other things are more important to me, so I am going to open the conversation.

I have heard many people who have been married for many years state they made it a rule not to go to bed mad. That pushes them to get their conflict resolved more quickly.

If people want to resolve their conflicts that desire will go a long way toward resolution. Sincerity is important, and sometimes we do have to turn the other cheek and forgive. How important is it to you? That is a good question to ask yourself.

Resolving conflicts builds trust in a relationship. If you have a special way to resolve conflicts, please share them in your comments.

Conflict Resolution

How do you handle conflict at work or home?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Shannon, I was very much like you when I was younger. I do think we act differently in varous settings. Certainly work and home are different. I think with time we evaluate things differently. Sometimes it is good to probably not discuss topics where there is no resolution, like what I wrote about my sister.

    Thanks so much for your comments.

  • shanmarie profile image

    Shannon Henry 

    2 years ago from Texas

    Interesting read here. I've been thinking about this topic lately ever since someone pointed out my aversion to being angry. I really don't like it because I don't like conflict. I think I associate conflict with a possibility of missing out on something or someone really special because of conflict. Then I impulsively try to "fix" things with too much communication. I need to just let things be as they are more often than I do.

    But I am like you when it comes to being especially defensive if someone takes a negative tone with me or speaks to me in an unnecessarily harsh or condescending fashion. They say people push back harder when pushed. Human unconscious mimicry? I'm not sure the reasons, but self defense kicks in. So I am not sure if it helps resolve conflict in the long run, but I am also working on not being so quick to jump to defense. I can't do anything about anyone else involved, though. Some things that are important for one person to discuss cannot be discussed at all toward a resolution if just one person is on high alert. It would be nice if it always worked out the way it does with you and your sister, though.

    And as far as work settings go.... Might as well be a totally different me. LOL. Different side of my personality shows. I still avoid conflict, for the most part, but not as quick to jump to angry defense if confronted or I need to confront. Kind of weird that way.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Peggy, I fully agree with you about discussing politics. I have a couple of friends in my life that we agreed to never bring the topic up. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    3 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Some topics (like politics) are just better to avoid particularly if a person already knows that their friends are on the opposite side of the fence. When living or working with people and conflicts arise it is better to air them openly and calmly. That way perhaps they can be resolved in a peaceful and fruitful fashion. I liked that Ronald Reagan quote.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 years ago from Sunny Florida

    sujaya, That is true. Thank you.

  • sujaya venkatesh profile image

    sujaya venkatesh 

    5 years ago

    bagful of varied emotions

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Minetonka Twin, I agree with you completely. and it is not easy to raise teens these days. I really appreciate your comments.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 

    6 years ago from Minnesota

    What a helpful hub Pamela. I don't think most of us like conflict. I know I don't, but the older I get, the harder it is to not say how I am feeling about something. Constructive communication that stays respectful is the best way to deal with conflict. I've learned a lot about myself as I help my sister raise teens. It's easy to get annoyed at some of their shenanigans but listening, and letting the other person know you care, even if you don't agree, is key. Hit many buttons and voted up.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    old albion, I have often said that is okay to agree to disagree, because sometimes it is just not worth the debate. I think you kind of summed up the options. I appreciate your comments. Compromise is certainly preferable.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Nell Rose, It seems most of the people that wrote comments feel the same way.

  • old albion profile image

    Graham Lee 

    6 years ago from Lancashire. England.

    Hi Pamela. I think we have to recognise when the argument/battle is lost. Once we accept this we should soften our attitude. The other side will notice this and often they will produce a compromise. This suites us entirely as they were the ones to have been seen to waver. On the other hand it could go the opposite way, if so then we compromise.


  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    6 years ago from England

    I hate conflict! over the years I have lived and worked in so many places that there is always someone there trying to cause trouble, so these days I try to keep away from them! interesting hub pamela, voted up and shared! nell

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Alicia, I like that quote also. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    You've included some good solutions in this useful hub, Pamela. I love the "Famous Quote"! It makes a lot of sense to me.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    MsDora, Thank you so much for your comments.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    6 years ago from The Caribbean

    You describe practical situations and you offer workable solutions to conflict. A very good presentation!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    BPOP, I think choosing your battles is wise. I always try to seek a resolution also. Sometimes my husband can get upset, not especially at me, but he will generally in a bad mood concerning choices made my his daughter or something like that, and I have found saving my advice until he is calm always works well. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Shauna, I know a lot of people that handle the situation that way when it is a family member. I prefer not to have the conflict at all, but when my sons were younger they certainly happened. Now that they have gotten older we all seem to get along well. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Chitrangada Sharan, I agree with your statements and I avoid them if I don't think the other person is ready to listen to my side. I appreciate your comments.

  • breakfastpop profile image


    6 years ago

    I prefer to choose my battles. Not everything rises to the level of a confrontation, polite or otherwise. Having said that, I lie to clear the air without tearing into anyone. I always seek a resolution and then I put the issue to rest. Great and extremely useful piece of writing and voted that way.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    6 years ago from Central Florida

    I'll walk away from a situation once I see the conversation is getting confrontational. However, when my son and I conflict, we usually blow up at each other, then discuss it more rationally when we've calmed down.

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 

    6 years ago from New Delhi, India

    This is a useful topic and dealt very well!

    Conflicts are normal in day today life. As we grow older, the capacity to deal with them becomes easier, at least I feel so.

    I think the best method is to listen to each other with an open mind and try to come to a conclusion, acceptable to both.

    Its not always possible to avoid conflicts, especially when its happening among closed ones. If the other side is too adamant, only interestined to impose own point of view, not ready to listen to anything, its better to avoid such persons/ conflicts.

    Thanks for sharing this insightful and engaging hub, voted up!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    DEE., I think you are absolutely right. Thanks for your comments,

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    lovedoctor, I think you are right and it sounds like you handle conflicts very effectively.. Thanks for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Jackie, There sure are some people to avoid because they do seem to thrive on them. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Mary, It sounds like you feel the same way most of us do about conflicts. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    I don't think anyone should focus on being right or wrong in any situation. The full understanding of the concept should be the focus. Conflict can be face in any situation, or place. You have shared an interesting topic.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    I like to get to the point and communicate my feelings which usually works, but not everyone likes to deal with it. Some people either get very upset or avoid it and that only makes the problem worse. Ignoring the issue won't make it go away and if you don't deal with it properly it can ruin personal relationships with others. Great hub on conflict resolution.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    6 years ago from the beautiful south

    I hate conflicts too and stay as far from them as possible. It seems some people just thrive on them doesn't it? ^+

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    6 years ago from Florida

    It's hard to avoid conflicts in our lives, whether in the work world or within our own families. I have learned to be more patient and understanding in dealing with conflicts, but I still don't care for them.

    Voted Up, etc. and shared.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Patricia, I like that saying also as it says it all. I think we do learn to avoid conflict and to communicate more effectively as we age. Thanks for your comments and the angels. I am sending some to watch over you also.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Billy, I have found that I have changed over the years also. I don't like conflict, but I like to get problems solved my speaking my feelings also. Life is happier that way. Thanks for your comments.

    Ruby, I have also seen that competition between nurses, especially when I worked with nurses and resident doctors. I like to get it resolved also. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Audry, You make a good point about the need to be right. I feel the same way you do. They can think anything at all, but I can walk away and not let it bother me. Thanks so much for your comments and the share/

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 

    6 years ago from North Central Florida

    "....the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means." That says it so well.

    as you mention conflict will occur. I am not one who welcomes it but have learned how to avoid it pretty well.

    At work it can be a real problem if not handled well.

    Thanks for sharing this, Pamela.

    Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    6 years ago from Southern Illinois

    I could certainally relate to teamwork in the nursing field, it is a must. I have worked where nurses compete with each other, making the atmosphere unfriendly. I am the type to get upset when conflicts arise, but want to get it out in the open and resolved. Interesting topic. Thank you for sharing

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    6 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I have undergone changes in this regard. The older I get, the more I am able to speak about my feelings and solve problems before they fester inside of me and explode. Much healthier for all concerned. :) Great suggestions and topic, Pamela.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 

    6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    Many conflicts arise from the need to be right. When I see that this is the case, so be it. I don't need to be right and I dislike conflict.

    Good hub about resolving conflicts and building trust. Thanks Pamela. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and will share.


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