Conflict is a state of discord or disagreement. It is usually caused by a difference in the viewpoints of two or more people and results in a feeling of frustration and lack of resolution. Conflict can be seen in all areas of life, including business, family, friends and the workplace. In the workplace, conflict can lead to low morale, employee turnover and a general lack of productivity. Conflict can be prevented by defining acceptable behavior, using a published delegation of authority statement, encouraging sound business practices in collaboration, team building and talent management and by promoting a healthy work environment.
There are several different types of conflict, and the one your protagonist encounters will reveal a great deal about them as they begin to make choices that form their character arc. It can be an internal struggle that pits them against their own weaknesses, a decision they need to make or a battle with a larger, impersonal force like a natural disaster or war.
In the workplace, conflicts can arise for a number of reasons such as personality clashes, power and status differences, conflicting interests, and incompatible goals. Some of the most common causes are differences in perceptions, communication problems, a lack of resources and the inability to adapt to change. Conflicts in the workplace can also occur between groups or departments. Examples of this include the conflict between line and staff, sales and production departments, or management and unions.
If you want to prevent workplace conflicts, the best approach is to avoid fighting with your coworkers. Instead, focus on the underlying issues that you are arguing about. Attempt to find common ground by listening actively and speaking your mind in a respectful manner. Avoid placing blame, bringing up past events or making personal attacks. If you feel that a colleague is attacking you, take time to calm down and compose yourself before replying. If you are communicating with them via email or text, do not send your message until you have had a chance to think about it.
Conflict in a story is what drives the plot forward. Without it, a story would be stagnant and boring. In fiction, the conflict can be a person or an object that opposes the protagonist’s main goal and must be overcome. It can also be a natural disaster or war that forces the protagonist to grow and learn from their experiences.
The stronger the forces of antagonism are, the more compelling the conflict will be. In genre writing, these forces are often called antagonists. However, they can be any oppositional element that thwarts your protagonist’s main desire. Think about what it was that your protagonist wanted at the beginning of the story and how this may have changed throughout the arc.