Conflict Analysis and Resolution – Understanding the Different Stages of Conflicts

Ignoring conflicts in the workplace or in general will only worsen the condition, hence it is important to analyze and resolve the conflict at its initial stage. Also, one needs to understand the various stages of conflicts to resolve them efficiently and quickly.

Conflicts when left unnoticed or unresolved, can turn into serious issues to tackle. Often in such scenarios, professional conflict analysis and resolution techniques may become the only way out. However, for conflict analysis and resolution one needs to understand the different stages of conflict. Typically, there are five stages of the conflict that need to be understood and analyzed well before getting into the conclusion part – i.e. the resolution.

What are the Five Stages of Conflict?

  1. Latent Stage, where participants aren’t aware of the conflict
  2. Perceived stage, where participants are aware that a conflict exists
  3. Felt Stage, where stress and anxiety overpowers the situation
  4. Manifest Stage, where the conflict is open and can be noticed
  5. Aftermath Stage, where the outcome of the conflict is decided i.e. resolution or dissolution of conflict

Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Usually, when you recognize and address the issues that cause conflict you can get fast and effective resolution. However, the problem here is that the solutions are not as easy as they seem. In the scenario, where both parties feel they have been ill-treated and expect their demands to be met, the conflict is generally escalated. Our workplace is the most prominent area of life that makes us realize and see the five stages of conflict. In most cases, none of the conflicting parties want to be there in the first place which further heightens the stress level leading to worsening the conflict.

For tackling and resolving a conflict quickly and efficiently, it is important to understand the situation at a psychological level. Usually, among the conflicting parties, the one that is less fortunate becomes aware of the conflicting situation early in the latency stage. And the more privileged party remains unaware that conflict exists as there are no adverse effects of the conflict on their work. The existing stress can make the latent stage dangerous as at times the other following stages can reveal themselves all at once due to overflowing emotions and passion. Therefore, it is essential for you to recognize the signs of conflict as soon as possible to address them from the beginning.

People need to address their difference of opinions openly and without any fear of misunderstandings. If the conflict is not addressed at the latent stage it can move to the manifest or emerging stages of conflict. Emergence begins when latent stage conflict builds until a triggering point. Depending upon the severity of the triggering event, it determines whether the eruption will end quickly or will last longer. Once the conflict emerges, either it is resolved, it gets escalated until an impasse is reached, or one of the parties involved gives up.

The conflict usually escalates for a long time but it can end quickly as well if professional conflict analysis and resolution techniques are used. For that, you will likely need an experienced and expert mediator and negotiator who can help both parties understand each other’s perspectives and end with a mutually beneficial conclusion  with the help of their expert tactics and active listening.

Achieving peace in tense situations like conflicts at the workplace becomes much easier and more efficient with the help of a professional mediator.

Author Information:

This article is written by Michael Gregory Consulting, LLC. Michael Gregory is one of the most renowned mediators and negotiators who specialize in conflict analysis and resolution techniques. Want to learn more? Visit