Conflict management is generally thought of as an umbrella term for the way organizations identify and handle conflicts fairly and efficiently.
Clearly, organizations need workable, effective, conflict management procedures because on any given day, group leaders may have to deal with a dispute between fellow employees.
Although there are many reasons people disagree, often the conflict involves:
- Personal values (real or perceived)
- Conflicting goals
- Power dynamics
- Communication style
Many experts in this field believe the key to successfully managing conflict is choosing the right style for each situation. For instance, it might make sense to use avoidance or accommodation to deal with minor issues, while critical disputes may call for a more assertive approach, like a competitive conflict management style.
There are, of course, benefits to effective conflict management such as enhancing commitments, goal achievement and just general calm. But often overlooked, conflict may be an indication of a much larger problem that needs consideration.
Workplace conflict can shine a light on deeper problems that need to be addressed. Even the most seemingly trivial disagreements might stem from underlying unaddressed issues that, if not addressed, are likely to fester and then explode down the road.
Thoughtful managers can watch for patterns in the workplace and engage early with the involved staff before the workplace is disrupted by a full-fledged conflict.
Similarly, conflict can identify practices and processes that need to be improved or replaced.
Conflict management specialists say it’s important to remember that conflict (including disagreement, difference of opinion, concern, complaint, friction, etc.) is not inherently good or bad.
Conflict is an inevitable result of human beings associating with each other in the world, in our families and in our workplaces.
There are many articles and blog posts trumpeting the “benefits of conflict” but, on reflection, this phrase is much too simplistic. It is not the conflict that directly creates benefits, it is dealing with the conflict well.
The key to unlocking the benefits of conflict is learning to engage effectively with conflict when it arises.
Conflict Management Training is a 1-day fundamental training course.
- Define types of conflict and their causes
- Discuss and implement the conflict resolution process
- Identify conflicts and how to prevent an issue before it escalate
- Develop communications skills and technique
Overview of Conflict Management
- What is a Conflict?
- Sources of Conflict
- Needs and Beliefs
- Emotions in Conflict
- What is Conflict Resolution?
Consequences of Conflict
- Positive Results for Self
- Reconciliation of Interests
- A Sense of Identity
- Internal Change
- Clarification of the Real Problem
- Positive Results for Self
Positive Results for the Group
- Increased Trust
- Increased Productivity and Results
- Group Unity
- A Lack of Trust
- Conflicts Happen More Often
- Systematic Concerns
- Poor Intentions
- Diminishing of Group Unity and Alliance
- Dominance Turns into Resentment and Destruction
- Withdrawal and Lowered Self-Image
- Compromise of Resolution
- Types of Strategies
Emotions in Conflicts
- Perception and Group Morale
- Conflict Cycle
- Achieving Mutual Respect
- Coping with Stress and Negative Reactions
Principals of Conflict Resolution
- Respect and Integrity
- A Constructive Approach and Attitude
- Basis of Presuppositions
Conflict Resolution Process
- Four Stages: Awareness, Self-Preparation, Conflict Reduction, and Negotiation.
- Diffuse Negative Reactions
- Bring Sides Together to Clarify Differences:
- Decide to Settle Destructive Behavior and Negative Attitudes
- Identify Problems
- Identify Interests of Each Party
- Evaluate Options for a Solution
- Decide on an Acceptable Solution
- Develop Action Plan
- Develop a Process for Evaluation
- Explore Emotions Afterwards
Conflict Management Training