Today, conflict management is considered a crucial skill in order to successfully manage a workforce, especially considering the competitive nature of employees vying for recognition within the typical business structure.
Conflict can be internal when the conflict is only within the individual; it is external if it is between two or more individuals or between groups.
Conflict situations can be triggered almost anything. In other words, conflict is inevitable. When there are differences in background and orientations among employees in working toward a goal, conflict arises.
But despite the inevitability of conflict, it can be minimized and even resolved when properly dealt with.
One of the first things to understand about conflict is that it has multiple sources. Conflicts can arise from competition for diminishing resources to disputes about broken promises, preferential treatment and a host of other inequities. Additionally, unclear or unmet expectations as well as fault lines of age, race, gender, status and authority can become bookmarks of conflict.
Managers and supervisors should consider key elements in conflict resolution, such as:
- Deal with the impact, not the intentions – This refers to refraining from attributing motives. Quite often, you could be wrong. Instead, it’s better to deal with the impact and consequences of the actions.
- Try not to blame individuals – Blaming often leads to fear, which accelerates cover-ups and bottles up the flow of information by preventing productive conversation.
- Repeat, rephrase and reflect – Patience really is a virtue, especially when interacting with conflicts involving personnel. Sometimes an employee would rather continue with the conflict rather than resolve it. One way to deal with this is by repeating what the employee is saying then rephrase it in your own words then invite the other person to join you in reflecting on the facts and circumstances of the conflict.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Conflict Management Training | The Fundamentals, a 1-day course where participants learn the causes of conflict and how to prevent issues before they escalate. Participants also learn stress management techniques, and how to become more self-aware of conflict and its effect on the workplace.
Other Training categories include:
- Executive Leadership
- Business Intelligence and Business Writing
- Operations Management Training and Change Management
- People Management and Performance Management
- Product and Project Management Training
- Project Management Certification
- Entrepreneurship and Leadership Training
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