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Author: Sophia Tutorial

Identify representations of the pre-conflict stage of conflict.

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what's covered
There are three natural stages of conflict. These include the pre-conflict stage, the conflict stage, and the post-conflict stage. Of these three, this lesson will focus on the pre-conflict stage.
  1. The pre-conflict stage
  2. Examples of the pre-conflict stage


The pre-conflict stage is the first phase of conflict. In this phase, a problem between parties begins to manifest itself without the parties’ knowledge.

graphic of the stages of conflict.

term to know
Pre-Conflict Stage
The stage of conflict in which parties’ needs are not being met but are unaware of the relationship between them.


Let’s study some examples of what this might look like in context.


You enjoy your job; you love the work you do. However, you know there are going to be some changes. The company has hired a new divisional VP, which has led to a couple of management changes in your division. You have met the new managers, and things seem fine at the moment. This could be the pre-conflict stage because issues could be brewing, but you are not aware of them.


Your neighbors, who you like and who have been living next door for years, recently moved away. A new family has moved into the house, and you notice that it’s a rather large family that seem to have a lot relatives coming over. Still, they’re really nice people, and your kids get along with the kids in this family. While you are a little surprised by all the people that seem to be coming over to the new neighbors’ house, things seem fine at this point.


Your spouse comes home and says that he/she has been given extra assignments at work that are going to require travel. Your spouse begins traveling quite a bit, and you start feeling tired a lot. At this early stage, you haven’t really made the connection between your spouse’s increased duties and your exhaustion, so this is the pre-conflict.

In this lesson, you learned that conflict can be divided into stages or patterns, and the first of those stages is the pre-conflict stage. You now understand that this is the stage in which the parties are not yet aware of each other's roles in their needs not being met.

Good luck!
Terms to Know
pre-conflict stage

The stage of conflict in which parties' needs are not being met but are unaware of the relationship between them.