Conflict circumstances are critical aspects in every institution. A conflict can be defined as a situation where the needs, goals interests or values of involved parties meddle with one another. Therefore, a conflict is a normal occurrence in the workplace among other social settings. Conflict can arise between team members, organizations and clients, projects, departments, organization need vs. personal needs, and a boss vs. subordinate. In many cases, conflict can result from a perception. Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing. This is because it can present opportunities for improvement. As such, it is important to be acquainted with various conflict resolution techniques.
/> The primary step is reactionary; it is done through assessing and reacting to the conflict. The following step is the proactive step; this is through determining how the other party reacts to the decision. One tries to take a new approach then discern how the other party will react. Ones I feel that the best decision has been chosen and everybody feels justified then it becomes an opportune time to decide whether this is a single case conflict or should be a written policy. In this regard, the entire process begins with a reactive situation and then moves towards a proactive decision. This style of conflict resolving is based on outcome that best fits all parties and the organization. This style emphasizes on the perception of justice for the employee. This whole process can be analyzed as;
- Anticipate – taking time to acquire information that can led to conflict
- Prevent – come up with strategies before any conflict can arise.
- Identify – this can be procedural or interpersonal, move fast to manage it.
- Manage – consider that conflict is emotional
- Resolve – tackle the problem without blame, one can learn through dialogue.
The typical style I use as a leader when dealing with a conflict situation is through collaboration. Collaboration is a win-win style which is also referred to as a problem solving or problem confronting. Andrew (2014) notes that collaboration involves an attempt to work together with the other person and come up with a win-win solution to the prevailing problem i.e. the one that most addresses the concerns of all parties. According to Andrew (2014), the win-win approach views conflict resolution as an opportunity to bring about a mutually beneficial result. The style includes, identifying the prevailing concerns of the parties and finding an alternative solution that meets every persons concern.
Collaborating is suitably used when; the commitment and consensus of other parties are critical; one is in a collaborative environment; when there is need to address the needs of different stakeholders. It also works; when there is a high level of trust; when a long-term relationship is vital; when working through animosity and hard feelings, and when one does not want to have full responsibility. Some of the possible advantages of collaborating include that fact that; it leads to getting a solution for the actual problem, and it has a win-win outcome (Xiang, Wang & Zhang, 2013). Some other advantages provided by Xiang et al. (2013) are that collaborations reinforce mutual respect and trust; are forms a foundation for effective partnership in the future, and provide shared responsibilities for the outcome. In addition, collaboration helps a person to earn a reputation of an excellent negotiator. Xiang et al. (2013) notes that, for parties involved, the outcome for any conflict resolution is less stressful. Even so, the process of coming up with a win-win situation is very involving.
Notably, some major caveats of collaborations are that this style of conflict resolving requires commitment from involved parties to come up with a mutually acceptable solution. More so, collaboration may also require more effort and time compared to other methods of conflict management and the win-win solution is not eminent. The moment one or more parties lose their trust in any opponent during collaboration, the relationship falls back to other methods of conflict resolution. As such, all involved parties must embrace collaborative efforts to continue with a collaborative relationship.
In reference to Xiang et al. (2013) emotional awareness is fundamental in understanding oneself and others. In keeping with Xiang et al. (2013) one can not be in a position to resolve a disagreement or communicate effectively if he/she fails to understand how they feel. Knowing oneself may sound very simple. However, many people try to sedate strong emotions like sadness, fears and anger. Arguably, ones ability to handle conflict depends heavily on being connected to own feelings. Xiang et al. (2013) argues that being afraid of strong emotions, or if one insists on getting strictly rational decisions, the ability to resolve differences becomes impaired.
There are other situations when different conflict resolution style is required. Some of the alternative conflict resolution styles that may be used are compromise. This method looks for convenient and equally tolerable solutions that partially gratify both parties. Most appropriate situation for compromise is when the parties’ goals are moderately important. For example; when not worth more assertive approaches like in collaboration or forcing. Compromise is also useful when someone wants to arrive at a temporary solution on a complicated issue or to reach a convenient solution on an important issue and when collaboration of forcing does not work.
According to Corvette (2007) conflict triggers tough emotions and can easily result to discomfort, disappointment and hurt feeling. When conflicts are handled wrongly, they can cause irreparable lifts, break ups and resentments. It is, therefore, important to handle conflicts cautiously as from a great understand of the situations that results to the conflict at hand.
Andrew A. (2014). Verbal Conflict Resolution Strategies: Theories, Techniques, and Tactics for Resolving Conflict. Conflict Management for Security Professionals, 2, Pages 107-119
Corvette, B. (2007). Conflict management: a practical guide to developing negotiation strategies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Eunson, B. (2012). Conflict Management. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Xiang L, Wang B, & Zhang Q. (2013). Is consciousness necessary for conflict detection and conflict resolution? Original Research Article. Behavioral Brain Research, Volume 247, 15 June 2013, Pages 110-116