IDevice Icon What is Conflict Management?

The term conflict management is sometimes used interchangeably with conflict resolution. The difference, however, is that the concept of conflict management is based on a premise that not all disputes end in resolution.

"Additionally, conflict management is the practice of identifying and handling conflict in a sensible, fair, and efficient manner. Conflict management is any collection of actions, responses, processes, and/or systems that help manage, improve, or prevent the deterioration of relationship dynamics."

When the parties can not resolve the dispute, they use strategies to manage the dispute and acknowledge their differences. Conflict management makes the parties to a dispute aware of their options. It allows them to examine their own assessments, to communicate their feelings and assessments, and to choose options that avoid defensive reactions.

The four strategies for conflict management are decision making, problem solving, negotiation and mediation.

Reach In, Reach Out, Reach Over: Conflict Management Pilot Program In North Carolina, North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – Center for the Prevention of School Violence Raleigh, North Carolina (2002)

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