Conflict management refers to the long-term management of intractable conflicts. It is the label for the variety of ways by which people handle grievances — standing up for what they consider to be right and against what they consider to be wrong. Those ways include such diverse phenomena as gossip, ridicule, lynching, terrorism, warfare, feuding, genocide, law, mediation, and avoidance. Which forms of conflict management will be used in any given situation can be somewhat predicted and explained by the social structure — or social geometry — of the case.
Conflict management is NOT the same as conflict resolution. The latter — conflict resolution — refers to resolving the dispute to the approval of one or both parties, whereas the former — conflict management — concerns an ongoing process that may never have a resolution.
Conflict is an omnipresent trait of human societies since it is almost impossible to find two parties with entirely overlapping interests, thus a general theory for bargaining and negotiation to address conflict is useful not only in the field of international politics or business management, but also at the personal and intimate level.
Whenever you work with people, conflict is inevitable. Each of us brings with us different views on just about everything. So, it should make sense to you that if the team is to be successful, members cannot simply ignore or complain about problems that threaten the accomplishment of the team's goals. Team members need to identify roadblocks to productivity and bring these in a helpful, positive way to the attention of the team to ensure its success. Being able to deal with emotions and emotional issues in a productive way for all involved or emotional intelligence is a critical skill in team-based work. Managed poorly, conflict can stymie creativity, impede teamwork, and even cause the team to fail to meets its goals and/or deadlines. If members have problems, it is important for them to bring these problems out in the open for discussion by the group without assigning blame, which does little if anything to solve a problem. Although tempting, gossiping with colleagues about difficult team members only creates tension, may get back to them (creating more tension), and erects barriers that won't get the work done. In concluding this section, it is useful to recognize that conflict isn't necessarily a bad thing. Conflict, managed productively, can lead to new ideas, more thoughtful decisions, and superior results.