Conflict Resolution in a Small Group Discussion

In our previous post, you learned that conflicts may be constructive or destructive. In a small group discussion, conflicts must also be managed constructively. Disagreeing on a certain idea or solution can be helpful in analyzing what could go wrong with a particular idea and help provide better solutions. A healthy communication climate allows each member to feel safe in expressing their opinions without the fear of ridicule or criticism.

There are conflicts, however, that prevent the group from attaining its goal. These disruptive conflicts include self-centered motivations in implementing a solution, power struggle, and personal attacks. Criticism or disagreements are constructive only if these are targeted towards the issues instead of the personalities of the members.