Conflict resolution is the most important skill in an organization. It involves bringing two or more conflicting people or groups of people to a consensus about a contentious issue. In most cases one of the parties or both feel aggravated by the actions or utterances of the other. Therefore, it is important to make each party to state his/her situation, intentions and expectations at the beginning of the conflict resolution process (Forsyth, 2009). This gives the CR an understanding of the origin of the conflict for a good resolution.
Culture is one of the main causes of conflict. When one person feels that his or her culture is superior to the other. Agreeable, no culture is perfect and every culture has shortcomings. As the head of the guidance and counseling department in my school, I am faced with many cases where learners differ due to different opinions where most of these differences are brought about by differences in culture and religion. The first step in the resolution of such a conflict is to make each party understand the culture of the other concerning the dos and the don’ts.
A good conflict resolution process is where a mechanism is set to resolve any similar conflicts in future (Knowles and Saxberg, 1971). In my school we have set a student conflict resolution council that resolves conflicts before they get out of hand. The students are also encouraged to use arbitration within the student fraternity so most of the conflicts don’t spill over to the administration.
As Knowles and Saxberg (1971) put it, a good arbitrator should have excellent listening skills. He/she should sit back and listen to the views of the parties. This makes all parties to value him/her as they consider him/her to be considerate of their views. It also helps build the self esteem of the parties. Nevertheless, he/she needs to be in control of the situation, allowing each person time to speak and giving guiding questions which will help the parties to bring out their views. Actually, a good arbitrator should guide the conflicting parties to solve their conflict but not solve it for them.
Forsyth, R. D. (2009). Group Dynamics (5th ed.). Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Knowles, P., & Saxberg, O. (1971). Personality and Leadership Behavior. Reading: Addison-