We all know that today's business environment is extremely competitive and only the fittest company will survive in this race. To emerge as a winner, companies have to improve their internal management and enhance the productivity of workers. Conflicts in the workplace are very common and hence having a good knowledge of conflict management strategies becomes absolutely essential. Before we discuss more about these skills, let us know the need for conflict management in the next section.
Need for Conflict Management
It is often said that every person has his own way of thinking and doing things. However, running a corporate organization is not a one person show. People have to work in teams to achieve set goals and for that they need to interact with one another. This is where conflicts can arise due to some misunderstanding or difference in the way of thinking and execution of tasks. Conflicts, if not handled with care, can affect the work environment greatly and the overall productivity of the office. The HR manager needs to find out the cause of the conflict and take the final decision without favoring any party. Improper conflict management can lead to increased jealousy and anger in the minds of some people who will certainly affect the ongoing as well as future projects. The need for effective conflict management is therefore felt in all kinds of organizational settings.
Skills for Conflict Management
This is the main problem for many people. Either people are poor listeners or they just don't want to hear the other person's opinion! Lack of listening skills lead to interpreting information in the wrong way and this is disastrous for the organization. So, people need to be patient and give due respect to their colleagues to control conflicts successfully.
Controlling emotions is one of the most important conflict management skills which every employee should learn. At times, people tend to get over excited and they may end up behaving in the wrong way or saying something that their colleagues may not appreciate. This is something which is not taught in course books and has to be learned through self-control and observing behavior of leaders.
A person with a negative attitude towards work would have to face conflicts wherever he goes. Such an attitude will never be accepted in any organization and hence you ought to change yourself to avoid all controversies.
Maturity is what one attains with various experiences in life. A mature person may handle a difficult situation with a systematic approach than others. Let us discuss this with a short example. Suppose A and B are working in the same department and A makes a false complaint against B to their seniors. Now, if B gets frustrated and approaches the senior management directly, the issue would certainly become a bigger one. Instead if B discusses the matter with A personally and explains to him his actions, he will be able to control further conflicts and handle the situation with maturity. So, instead of focusing on personal interests people should work together for the larger interest of the organization.
Strategies for Conflict Management
Here are the basic strategies for conflict management:
- Avoidance: In the avoidance strategy, there is no need to resolve the conflict, instead it is avoided.
- Accommodation: Accommodation involves allowing the other person's needs to be fulfilled at one's own expense.
- Compromise: Conflicts are resolved with this strategy by taking into confidence both the conflicting parties.
- Competition: In this strategy, a person gives his own needs more importance and does not care about his relationship with the other person involved in the conflict.
- Collaboration: This strategy is the best when the manager has to solve issues which are equally important for all employees.