Conflict may be defined as the contest or struggle among people who have needs, opposing ideas, beliefs, values and even goals. The purpose of this essay will be to discuss the idea of conflict management and strategies of resolving conflicts.
When professional peers form teams, disagreement and conflicts are likely to occur and there is a need to find ways to express their divergent views (Cartwright, 2003). Conflicts may occur from short tempers, tight deadlines and other factors, but most team peers may not be acquainted with what to do; hence these conflicts may be destructive. "Regardless of the unavoidability of conflict, most of us go out of our approach to suppress or avoid it" (Engleberg, 2006). While working in a team setting, peers must seek effective and successful solutions for the frequent conflicts that might arise in the work place. Teams must lay down their own objectives, make judgments and solve their troubles.
The most familiar means conflicts occur are from; struggle between opposing and incompatible needs, ideas, wishes, people, or interests (DeJanasz, Dowd, Schneifer, 2002). Other types of conflicts occur when team peers have different attitudes, values, needs, perceptions, expectations, personalities and resources (Capozzoli, 1995). Many managers do not put forward sessions or seminars on how to effectively handle conflicts, so peers may not be aware of effective approaches available to assist team peers in dealing with their differences. Many conflicts can come from nearly any form of communication. Understanding diverse forms of conflicts and strategies to resolve them may be the best primary step to strengthen working relationships as well as negotiating issues in dispute.
The surfacing of conflicts has both negative and positive effects on an organization. There are both negative and positive conflicts. Conflicts may be mostly associated with; fighting, quarreling, hostility and anger (Engleberg, 2006). All conflicts need not to be negative, a conflict can be positive when handled or managed in an effective manner. Conflicts like this challenged peers and can lead to results that are better. They can lead to innovation, increased involvement, creativity and cohesion from team peers. They can also demonstrate positive change, personal growth, and clarify both key issues and values. The quality of decision-making improves through positive conflicts, since concerns and opposing viewpoints may be discussed. Teams who are devoted to positive conflicts contribute to similar opinions such as peers having the ability to disagree and at the same time, respect each other. They also may not be troubled to disagree with team peers of a higher rank like the managers, knowing that their differences will not be punished, and hence have an agreed-upon strategy for making decisions and resolving their conflicts (Engleberg, 2006).
On the other hand, negative conflicts may lead to peers feeling as if they have direction of the team's objective, for the reason of arguing and constant bickering among team peers. This kind of conflict also emerges when teams engage in activities that create resentment and that prevent accomplishment of the team's objective (Engleberg, 2006). Dianna Booher explains that conflict may be a sparring, burdensome match leading to unrelenting friction and also loss of friendship (Booher, 1999). The team’s decision-making quality deteriorates when peers are rigid and never open to other viewpoints. Negative conflict has the possibility to disable a team permanently (Engleberg, 2006). As soon as team peers are given diverse choices on how to manage their conflicts, lots of those conflicts may turn out to be a learning experience as the team may be able to be more productive and also grow.
There are numerous strategies for solving conflicts available to assist peers learn how to manage and resolve their differences. A four step approach is suggested by Donald Weiss, where peers listen, accept, act in response, and have a resolution on their remaining differences (Weiss, 1997). Weiss observes that nonverbal cues demonstrate ninety percent of what is said by someone. To listen effectively and successfully, peers must clear their thoughts and focus on these nonverbal gestures. Paraphrasing the matter back to the other individual may help in showing that both individuals may be getting closer to having a solution to their differences. Reaction takes both the acknowledging portion and combines it with the thoughts of an individual (Weiss, 1997). This moves the team peers towards resolving their differences effectively. When resolving differences both of them may be able to identify the problem and seek the cause of the disagreement or the problem. They may be able to then come up with a variety of solutions and come to an agreement.
Thomas K. Capozzpoli has a comparable approach; the first step is to look at the grounds for the disagreement. He has a suggestion that in this phase all team peers step away once emotions are high and then come back collectively later to talk about the disagreement. Like the Weiss's listening stage, Thomas suggests that subsequent to emotions being stable the team ought to actively listen to one another and appreciate all perceptions and views (Capozzpoli, 1995). The team then has the ability to offer other alternative solutions and have the same opinion on the best and the appropriate one. Once the team has established a better solution, they have to agree on it and place it into action. This may be where the necessity to write out the solution sprouts, so as to have a clear consideration by all the team peers (Capozzpoli, 1995).
Conflict is without a doubt as a clash of directions, interests, actions views or values and can be extremely destructive to excellent teamwork. Conflicts may originate from more than a single source; differences in styles, disagreements, principles, beliefs or values, philosophical and different ideological outlooks, different status and many other factors. Using different methods to handle conflicts as described above may assist to encourage team peers share their differences and look for solutions. When team peers don’t turn out to be victims of their arguments they may be able to show better results and be more productive. Managing conflict may be one of the toughest skills to acquire; however, it is the most rewarding that does not come naturally and as expected (DeJanasz, Dowd, Schneifer, 2002). Peers should learn to be at ease with handling conflicts and develop different methods existing of solving differences.
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