"Conflict or Adjusting our assumptions and goals? After having just spent some time in a conflict avoidant culture and observing how differing ideas are reconciled while avoiding a feeling of conflict, I think most of us are underskilled at dealing with differences. In other words fears and yucky feelings frequently arise when conflicting ideas need to be addressed. I think as leaders we can do a lot to create a world where differences are an opportunity to reach a higher level of group excellence. Posturing for dominance or puffery becomes crass and foreign to the group, while creative thinking becomes infectious and exciting."
I don't think conflict is inevitable at all. Differences in ideas and feelings are inevitable. But those differences do not have to be a threat to our sense of self. After all, isn't the "self" more of an allegation than a fact?