Conflict Resolution Toolkit
Conflict resolution toolkit webpage for Volunteering NSW website
What is conflict?
Conflict is normal. Conflict comes from differences. Different ideas can fit together well but they can also cause conflict.
Sometimes unexpected things happen, or you will have a different view to someone else. When this stops you from being yourself or harms your relationships with the other person, you may have a conflict. Conflicts need to be dealt with early so that the situation does not get worse.
Conflict can happen for various reasons:
Conflict over resources
- When people have unequal access to resources or different ideas about how resources should be used.Example: Should we use the funding that we have to build a disability ramp or should we use it to hire more people?
Conflict over values or beliefs
- When people think differently about what is "good" or "bad", "right" or "wrong", "fair" or "unfair".
- When people feel they are "forced" to accept or even adapt to someone else's values or beliefs.Example: Should the promotion be given to Alex because he/she has the right skills, or Kim because he/she and his/her family need it?
Hostility between people
- When people develop strong negative emotions towards another. This can break down trust between people.
Power issues: Who has power and who may feel powerless?
- When people feel power and authority are used unfairly, or when authority lines are unclear, they can get frustrated, confused and angry.
The "what happened" conflict
- When people have different memories about what happened and each person believes their version is correct, this often leads to a conflict about who is "right".
Bullying, harassment and discrimination
- When people are treated unfairly or unequally, or feel intimidated, due to reasons such as race, religion, colour, sex, age, or disability.