The only way out of conflict is through it: it is inevitable, and often desirable in a diverse system. While conflict can lead to greater organizational creativity, it often makes people feel uncomfortable or anxious. People may try to manage their discomfort with conflict in different ways, such as: avoiding the feelings and the issues or people that seem to stir them up; confronting it head on; or trying to get rid of the people that are perceived to be causing the conflict. It is important for organizations to be able to work with difference and with the conflicts that it generates. However, when conflict occurs consistently between specific individuals or groups within an organization it is usually a symptom of a larger organizational issue. Getting rid of a “problematic” employee or group may work temporarily, but often results in conflict surfacing in another part of the system.
Tracy Wallach works with conflicting parties within an organization to uncover the underlying issues of a conflict.