Conflict is not all about war, violence, and loss of life. By definition, conflict is simply a disagreement among people on an issue. Conflicts can be small, as among two persons, or they can be large and complex, as among two or more countries. Conflict is a natural and normal part of human life and interaction. When communication to settle a conflict is constructive, the conflict is beneficial. The constructive approach stimulates new understandings and a more socially just solution with a stronger relationship. In the case of a communication breakdown, conflict can lead to separation and hostility (Sughru, 2009, pp.7-8).
While analyzing conflicts, it is better to break down the issue into five variables (Sughru, 2009, p. 10). First and foremost we need a complete picture of the actors and understand their direct or indirect role. In other cases, an actor may not be a single person, but a group or a part of the group. In the case of groups, cooperation and conflict are complementary processes. Cooperation may be reified by positive exchanges between members. Cooperation and conflict both contribute to the evolution of groups and their outcomes. Positive evaluation can increase satisfaction and participation in groups, but excessive positive evaluation in the absence of adequate negative evaluation can lead to danger (Troyer &. Youngreen, 2009, p. 2).
After identifying the actors, we need to figure out the root causes of the conflict, scope, and stages of the conflict. Every side of the conflict has some resources and capabilities. These resources should be clearly understood. Finally, one has to look for historical instances of such conflicts among other parties and check out the past relationship history of current parties of the conflict (Sughru, 2009, p. 10). Conflict negotiation is a back-and-forth communication process.