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7 Types of Conflict

author image Denise Stern
Denise Stern is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for more than seven years. Stern regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care websites and has an associate and specialized business degree in health information management and technology.
7 Types of Conflict
7 Types of Conflict

Conflict is defined as a difference of opinion regarding ideas, wishes or desires. Conflict can arise between couples, work peers and political governments. Understanding the basic types of conflicts that may occur in your daily environment can help you avoid disagreements or learn the best way to deal with them.


Conflicts with friends or family members are often caused by miscommunication, disagreements on behavior or negative emotions, according to Jim Melamed, founder of the Oregon Mediation Center and former chair of the Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission. Accepting, according to Melamed, is not the same as agreeing to such disputes, but it may help prevent them from becoming disruptive and destructive.


Conflicts of interest are described as a disagreement or type of competition where the needs of one are ignored over the needs of the other. Such conflicts of interest may be defined, according to Melamed, as those involving psychological needs over resources such as time or money or those in which there are disagreements over the way problems are addressed.


Conflicts in values are often seen between individuals raised in different cultural or religious backgrounds who have differing opinions over right and wrong, suggests Melamed. Conflicts often arise when one person tries to enforce his own set of values on another.


Leadership and managerial styles differ among individuals, which may cause conflict in the work environment. Various factors determine leadership styles and may include personality, expectations and whether or not that leader encourages feedback and opinions of others or is more autocratic or directive in style, according to


Clashing personalities may create conflicts at school, home and work, according to Perception and emotions play a large role in whether or not you may like or dislike someone's personality. If you think your boss is rude and inconsiderate, you're less likely to want to be part of his team, which often leads to conflicts of interest and leadership.


A person's method of completing tasks or goals may lead to conflict in any scenario, according to You can be laid-back, while your partner is eager to get something done, which can create conflict. Or, your team member may be task-oriented, while you're more creative.


Ethical conflict can be defined as external factors influencing a decision, something often seen in the health care industry, according to For example, breaching confidentiality is considered unethical in the medical field. A nurse who knows something private about a sick patient may feel an ethical conflict about revealing that knowledge to someone else, even when that information may be used to aid or save that patient.

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