“Conflict itself is not a destructive force, but conflict left unaddressed is. Unaddressed conflicts create mistrust, suspicion, dishonesty, defensiveness, conspiracy, and barriers.” (Roth p. 36) Conflict can be perceived as negative or positive. Observing conflict as negative can produce inappropriate behavior or destroy the morale or pursuit of the team’s mission, and the negativity can divert energy from important team activities and issues that require energy to resolve. When conflict is viewed as positive, it opens up discussion topics resulting in clarification. When teams are able to work through their conflict, it builds cohesiveness among team members and allows members to develop their conflict resolution skills. Among any team of more than one person, regardless of whether the conflict is viewed as positive or negative, conflict is inevitable. Understanding what causes conflict and how to resolve conflict is vital to the success of each individual in the team. According to research, conflict in the workplace can arise from personal disagreements. Personal conflicts occur due to a clash of ideas, values or needs between two or more coworkers. Different ideas about the work being performed can also cause a personal conflict between employees. Additionally, a romantic relationship between two employees can contribute to personal conflict, especially if the relationship does not end well. In addition, conflict can lead to a necessary change in the workplace. School policies that are unclear can be clarified if a disagreement arises about the rules. Regulations that some members of the staff view as unfair can be addressed to raise overall workplace morale. As school leaders our influence can not only resolve conflicts between employees, but also prevent them. Clear written policies and well-defined areas of responsibility leave little room for disagreement, but the nature of human personalities dictates that some workplace conflict is...
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