A. define what "conflict" is;
B. identify what styles characterise certain people in terms of conflict resolution; What are the characteristics of these styles;
C. aquire some methods to handle these conflicts.
Time needed to review this content: 30 MIN
Many researchers think, that the word ’conflict’ derives from the Latin ’armed confrontation’ but today it means more than just that. In business context conflicts may even have positive impacts if we can handle them well. One proper definition in these terms is:
’Contrariety detected between the goals of two or more parties’ (Smith and Mackie, 2004).
In corporate life, the conflicts significantly determine the company’s performance: the employee morale, efficiency, frequency of lawsuits, etc. However, conflicts do not only inhibit development, but the good type and well-managed organizational conflict may also be the condition of development.
The steps of making a well performing group are the following:
Evolution – Storming – Development of Norms – Operation
In this process however, the emergence of conflicts is essential during evolution and storming, so that the group learns to handle those first, since this is the only way for them to reach the operational phase resulting in good performance.
The business benefits from conflicts, so the entrepreneur should aim to manage the conflicts instead of solving or eliminating them. Conflict management does not mean conflict resolution.
Conflict management reduces negative consequences to a minimum, and it supports the positive effects of conflict, aiming to promote the learning/development processes within the group.
There is a link between the corporate conflicts and its level of performance, and this link is NOT that the lower the level of conflict, the higher the performance.
Four Tips for Managing Conflict
In this video there are 4 more tips on how to become better conflict solvers.
In this video there is an example of what happens when the same problem-solving styles meet.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
10 tips to help in conflict management:
1. The negative emotions should be shared with those involved only in person or by phone.
2. Start the conversation by saying: ‘I understand’.
3. Take notes when you feel threatened by someone's words.
4. Practise to be able to ask the other party questions to improve the situation even when you are angry.
5. Try repeating word for word what the other party said, when you feel that they are heated by too much emotion or you do not agree with them at all.
6. Take responsibility for your emotions to avoid blaming other.
7. Learn to listen to both sides in a situation where you have to be a mediator..
8. Take steps to develop emotional self-control even in situations of strong conflict.
9. If possible, wait a few days for the management of a conflict in which intense emotions are released.
10. Make your decision to politely communicate even at a time when you are angry or frustrated.
Conflicts are part of our everyday life, and on certain levels it is useful too: it facilitates learning, development and better problem solving. In this section we had the chance to learn about the factors that lead to conflict, the possible solutions and the conflict management styles we could encounter in practice. An important message of this section is that we should not try to eliminate conflicts from the organization; instead, we should learn how to handle them.
THINK OF SOME ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS