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Constructive and Destructive Approaches to Conflict

Area of Concern

Constructive Approach

Destructive Approach

IssuesRaises & clarifies issuesBrings up old issues
FeelingsExpresses both positive & negative feelingsExpresses only negative feelings
InformationComplete and honest informationSelective information
FocusConflict focuses on issueConflict focuses on person
BlameAccepts mutual blameBlames other person(s) for problem
PerceptionFocuses on similaritiesFocuses on differences
ChangeFacilitates change to prevent stagnationMinimizes change, increasing conflict
OutcomeBoth winOne wins, one loses; or both lose
IntimacyResolving conflict increases intimacyEscalating conflict decreases intimacy

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