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What Are the Costs of Being in Conflict?

What Are the Costs of Being in ConflictThere is usually a price to pay for being in conflict. The costs of conflict depend on its nature, intensity and longevity. These are the areas most impacted:

Emotional costs. We can feel angry, sad, frustrated and anxious when we are experiencing conflict. Unkind words are often remembered long after the event, as verbal attacks and psychological abuse is very damaging. Emotional suffering can also eventually lead to health problems.

Physical costs. Sadly, some try to express their feelings or try to resolve issues through physical violence. Whether in the home, workplace, community or in the bigger picture, human history is etched in conflict.

Relationship costs. Friendships, work and family relationships can be strained and broken by unresolved and ongoing conflict. It’s sad to see people avoiding each other or breaking all contact when the conflict could have been resolved and the relationship kept intact.

Financial costs. I wonder how much money is spent each year on conflict related counseling, mediations, legal actions and lost productivity at work? Then add the cost of military aggression, defense and mopping up the damage caused by military conflicts. Ouch! Dealing with conflict must be one of the biggest budget items of the human race.

Productivity and workplace costs. Where there is ongoing conflict in a workplace you can be sure that production and effectiveness will be impacted. It is impossible to really “whistle while we work” when we are in the midst of tension, anger and mistrust. If managers ignore simmering conflict they are not only holding back the organization from reaching its potential but possibly paving the way for a bigger storm to erupt at some time in the future. This may seriously damage the organization.

How are your skills at identifying, understanding and knowing how to deal wisely with conflict around you?

Is there a situation at the moment in which you could do something to help lessen the impact and cost of this conflict?

Steve Bagi

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