5 Recognizing the Reasons for a Conflict

Understanding the reasons for a conflict and the underlying needs fueling it will go a long way to help you resolve it.

Understanding Basic Needs and Wants

Conflicts often arise when people have underlying needs or strong wants that aren’t being met, such as a desire for security, independence, or belonging. Conflicts also grow out of fears that something valuable may be lost, (e.g., a friendship, property, or peace and quiet). Such needs and fears easily fit into Abraham Maslow’s well-known pyramid of needs (see next page), starting with survival, security, and safety on the bottom; then needs for friendship and belonging; above that needs for self-esteem, prestige, and achievement; and finally needs ...

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