Below is a hypothetical scenario, which I believe is one classic example of an interpersonal conflict.
Mark and Henry were colleagues working under the same section in a business company. Mark was a veteran, having served the company for more than twenty years, starting from the lowest position and working his way up steadily. He was very hardworking and had a traditional mindset that believes hardwork will always pay off one day. Henry, on the other hand, was a much younger employee who had just joined in only a few weeks ago. Despite his inexperience, Henry was very talented. As Henry had entered the company as a fresh university graduate in business studies, he had been promoted to the same position as Mark within the few weeks since his entry into the company. Of course when Mark had heard about Henry's promotion, he was not happy to see someone so young and inexperienced to be promoted so quickly, whereas it took years for him to achieve his current position.
Mark was still a bachelor, mainly because he was so hardworking that he had no time for romantic relationship. He was always serious in his works, so his superiors often entrusted him with alot of projects. Due to his always serious attitude, he was not very popular to his colleagues, but he was well respected for his experience.
Henry, on the other hand, was a rather relaxed and carefree individual. He was very friendly with good sense of humour, making him a very popular and well-liked person among his colleagues, except for Mark who felt that his carefree attitude was a sign of laziness. He was also married, and recently, he became into a father.
Mark and Henry had been tasked into working together on a very important project. As usual, Mark treated this project very seriously. However, when the deadline was closing in, Mark realised that he was having trouble in finishing the project within the deadline. He already had a handful of other projects to finish. To make matters worse, Mark felt that Henry did not have his fair share of his work in the project. Very often, he would leave the office early and head straight back to home, unlike Mark who worked overtime almost everyday for the project. The truth was; Henry also took the project seriously and tried to contribute as best as he could, but he had just became into a father and he had to rush back to home everyday to take care of his wife and baby.
One evening, Henry was preparing to rush back to home as usual. There were only five days left before the project deadline, and the project was only half done. Finally fed up with Henry's actions, Mark snapped and begin to shout at and accuse Henry for his lack of commitment in the project. In his rage, Mark also insulted Henry that he should never have deserved his promotion and he was nothing but an arrogant and lazy brat. Henry was shocked by the sudden outburst by Mark, and was left speechless for half a minute.
This is just one classic example of an interpersonal conflict. There are many factors that have caused this above conflict.
One of the main factor is generation gap. Mark belongs to an older generation of workers who have been taught of the traditional moral value of working hard to earn a living. When he saw that Henry managed to get his new position within the few weeks since joining the company, Mark would have felt envious and thought that it was unfair because Henry did not work as hard as he did to earn the position. Henry, on the other hand, would have felt that it was alright for him to earn his new position, since he had proven himself with his talents and he had already studied hard in his university and earned himself a good testimonial through his degree. The generation gap and the difference in mindset between Mark and Henry would have been the first spark of this conflict between the two individuals.
The generation gap would have caused the two colleagues to misunderstand each other, which in turn becomes the next factor for this conflict. As Mark always had a discrimination against Henry and was only paying attention to his own work, Mark did not bother to know more about his younger colleague. If he had known more about Henry personal life, he would have learnt that Henry was married and there was a reason why he had to rush back home everyday.
If I would to be one of their superiors who had happened to overhear their argument, I would first meet each one of them one by one to know more about the incident in their own individual point of view. From each of their own point of view, I would figure out the root cause of the incident, which in this case is the misunderstanding between the two of them, especially Mark. I would later advise them to meet each other face to face so that they can both settle their misunderstandings and hope they will learn to understand each other so that they can work better with each other in the future.
What about you, readers? What would you do if you are to resolve this interpersonal relationship.