The role of conflict management is to reduce negative outcomes while increasing learning and goal achievements. Conflicts can happen between two strangers and also between two friends or groups well known to each other. Every conflict can result into either a lose-lose, lose-win or win-win, the last being the best way to handle conflicts. Handling Conflict is based on Aggression quotient and can be classified as:
To be a good handler of conflicts, one needs to imbibe these 5 steps:
Identify the source: Every conflict is based on a source of information. It is important to remove the noise and look at data to unravel the cause and effect analysis. Use your situational judgment trait here.
Look beyond the flashpoint: Every flashpoint of a conflict is the result of a smaller perspective difference which could be the root cause or a difference in the interpretation of information.
Team Management: There are always two teams in a conflict. Managing the team’s issues with emotional and information-based outcomes is always the best way to manage harmony and justice.
Identify meeting points: Both parties will have some meeting points, which could be ideas or agreements regarding the conflict where both agree. This is key to bring both to the discussion table. Logical reasoning attribute helps here.
Reach consensus: No conflict is resolved until both parties leave with shaking hands and/or agreeing to the consensus arrived at. Political and international disputes take time to resolve, but shaking hands ensures the door open for the next round of discussions towards a final resolution.
How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace
• Talk with the other person – rather than creating a distance, it is important to talk to the person with whom the conflict has happened. This helps in easy resolution.
• Focus on behaviour and events, not on personalities- we should focus on the situation and the persons behaviour in that particular situation rather than the personality of the person. This ensures an impartial conflict handling.
• Listen carefully – the ability to listen carefully and then drawing a conclusion is imperative in case of conflict handling, rather than jumping to a conclusion. Often, listening carefully shows up solutions to handling the conflict which otherwise is not visible.
• Identify points of agreement and disagreement – this helps in drawing conclusion and find out the means to end the conflict.
• Prioritize the areas of conflict – when the areas of conflict are identified and prioritized, a standoff is resolved very quickly.
• Develop a plan to work on each conflict – each conflict is different and needs different approach. Therefore, it is important to have a plan pertinent to the conflict at hand.
• Follow through on your plan – once the plan for handling the conflict has been made, it should be carried out immediately. Unnecessary delay can cause the situation to escalate which can be detrimental
• Build on your success – the experience gathered by handling previous conflicts should be used to handle present conflicts. That is what build on your success means.
Effective leaders need to understand all five conflict-handling modes and be able to identify the best mode to use for various situations. To help illustrate when to use, and when not to use, each conflict-handling mode.
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