Conflict happens, to paraphrase the bumper sticker. It's part of our working life and often a means to an end, a way to work out our differences and reach a conclusion. While some conflict can be avoided, it's usually the approach you take that tends to exacerbate the issue, causing you undue stress and maybe some early hair loss. It's all about the reaction. For these smart thinkers, how you deal with with conflict reveals your character.

1. "In the end, the aggressors always destroy themselves, making way for others who know how to cooperate and get along. Life is much less a competitive struggle for survival than a triumph of cooperation and creativity." Fritjof Capra

2. "The better able team members are to engage, speak, listen, hear, interpret, and respond constructively, the more likely their teams are to leverage conflict rather than be leveled by it." Runde and Flanagan

3. "Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means." Ronald Reagan

4. "Where all think alike, no one thinks very much." Walter Lippmann

5. "Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago." Horace Mann

6. The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a lifelong quest of the wise." Shannon L. Alder

7. "When introverts are in conflict with each other...it may require a map in order to follow all the silences, nonverbal cues and passive-aggressive behaviors!" Adam S. McHugh

8. "A good manager doesn't try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people. If you're the boss and your people fight you openly when they think that you are wrong--that's healthy." Robert Townsend

9. "Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude." William James

10. There are some people who always seem angry and continuously look for conflict. Walk away from these people. The battle they're are fighting isn't with you, it's with themselves." Rashida Rowe

11. "When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion." Dale Carnegie

12. "The Law of Win/Win says, 'Let's not do it your way or my way; let's do it the best way'." Greg Anderson

13. "There's been a quantum leap technologically in our age, but unless there's another quantum leap in human relations, unless we learn to live in a new way towards one another, there will be a catastrophe." Albert Einstein

14. "No pressure, no diamonds." Mary Case

15. "When one ceases from conflict, whether because he has won, because he has lost, or because he cares no more for the game, the virtue passes out of him." Charles Horton Cooley

16. "The more we run from conflict, the more it masters us; the more we try to avoid it, the more it controls us; the less we fear conflict, the less it confuses us; the less we deny our differences, the less they divide us." David Augsburger

17. "There are two ways of meeting difficulties: You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself meeting them." Phyllis Bottome

18. "Every conflict we face in life is rich with positive and negative potential. It can be a source of inspiration, enlightenment, learning, transformation, and growth-or rage, fear, shame, entrapment, and resistance. The choice is not up to our opponents, but to us, and our willingness to face and work through them." Kenneth Cloke and Joan Goldsmith

19. "Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict." William Ellery Channing

20. "The aim of argument and of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert

21. "Effective teamwork will not take the place of knowing how to do the job or how to manage the work. Poor teamwork, however, can prevent effective final performance. And it can also prevent team members from gaining satisfaction in being a member of a team and the organization." Robert F. Bales

22. "Wild ducks make a lot of noise, but they also have the sense to benefit from occasionally flying in formation." Unknown

23. "The art of living lies not in eliminating but in growing with troubles." Bernard Baruch

24. "10% of conflicts are due to difference in opinion. 90% are due to wrong tone of voice." Unknown

25. "In business, when two people always agree, one of them is irrelevant." William Wrigley

26. "An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything." Lynn Johnston

27. "Bullying consists of the least competent most aggressive employee projecting their incompetence on to the least aggressive most competent employee and winning." Tim Field

28. "Workplace bullying--in any form--is bad for business. It destroys teamwork, commitment and morale." Tony Morgan

29. "Michael, if you can't pass, you can't play." Coach Dean Smith to Michael Jordan in his freshman year at UNC

30. "Conflict is inevitable but combat is optional." Max Lucado

31. "Conflict cannot survive without your participation." Wayne Dyer

32. "Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win." Jonathan Kozol

33. "A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights." Napoleon Bonaparte

34. "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

35. "When people respond too quickly, they often respond to the wrong issue. Listening helps us focus on the heart of the conflict. When we listen, understand, and respect each other's ideas, we can then find a solution in which both of us are winners." Dr. Gary Chapman

36. "It's like a lightning storm on a warm summer night; though the lightning itself may be scary it helps to clean the air. Negatively charged ions produced by the storm attach themselves to pollutants, which fall to the ground. That's why the air smells so clean at times. The same is true when you deal with disagreements in an appropriate way." Mitch Temple

37. "There is a psychological law that says: Appreciate and you prosper; belittle and you lose.Unless we learn to apply this law, as psychological as it is spiritual, we're doomed to an existence of mediocrity, frustration, and defeat. Appreciation is no simple, vague theme. Appreciation is a real force. It is governed by a principle almost as direct as a law of physics: We draw to ourselves the good of everything we appreciate." David Goodman

38. "To make life more bearable and pleasant for everybody, choose the issues that are significant enough to fight over, and ignore or use distraction for those you can let slide that day. Picking your battles will eliminate a number of conflicts, and yet will still leave you feeling in control." Lawrence Balter

39. "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" Abraham Lincoln

40. "I've always believed that a lot of the troubles in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other." Ronald Reagan

41. "Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up." Robert Frost

42. "The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." Thomas Paine

43. "If necessity is the mother of invention, conflict is its father." Kenneth Kaye

44. "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run." Kenny Rogers

45. "In one of our concert grand pianos, 243 taut strings exert a pull of 40,000 pounds on an iron frame. It is proof that out of great tension may come great harmony." Theodore E. Steinway

46. "A large ocean liner was headed across the Atlantic from Portsmouth to New York. As it neared its destination at night, a lookout on the wing of the bridge reported, 'Light, bearing on the starboard bow.' 'Is it steady or moving astern?' the captain called out. The lookout replied, 'Steady, captain,' which meant that they were on a collision course. The captain then called to the signalman, 'Signal that ship: We are on a collision course, advise you change course 20 degrees.' Back came a signal, 'Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees.' The captain said, 'Send, I'm a Captain, change course 20 degrees.' 'I'm a seaman, second class,' came the reply. 'You had better change course 20 degrees.' By that time the captain was furious. He spat out, 'Send, This is the mighty ocean liner, HMS Franconia. Change course 20 degrees.' Back came the flashing light,' This is a lighthouse, suggest you change course 20 degrees.' Anonymous

47. "Conflict can destroy a team which hasn't spent time learning to deal with it." Thomas Isgar

48. "It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem." G. K. Chesterton

Note: Did I miss any of your all-time favorite quotes on conflict? Sorry about that. These are my favorites. Post yours to my Twitter feed.