|workplace conflict management|
“Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police" -- Albert Einstein
Conflict Management Tips
No business environment is an exception to conflict. Conflicts may arise when team members working to achieve the same goal have different ideas as to how to accomplish the objective. Such differences of opinion among team members could result in a conflicting situation.
Learning to manage conflict is an essential element in team building in an organization. With conflict management skills, you are less likely to practice destructive behavior that may adversely affect your team, as unresolved conflict can result in aggression.
1. Acknowledge the problem: Since conflict is unavoidable in most situations, it is important that you learn to manage it. In order to resolve conflict, the conflicting individuals must address the issues between them. Accept that conflict is a sign that things need a change.
2. Don’t overreact: Anger is man’s worst enemy. Your response to the conflict can make or mar your relationship with the other person. It is your response that can escalate or reduce the magnitude of the problem. It is best to be calm in a conflicting situation, which may help you reach a neutral point of view to resolving the conflict.
3. Use a soft tone: The worst thing in a conflicting situation is to be over-reactive, use inflammatory language, and not listen to the other side. Listen carefully and use the correct tone when responding. Your tone should be such that the information is less emotionally laden.
4. Analyze: Analyze the conflict by trying to find answers to these questions. What are the triggers? Are you afraid of losing something? Why are you angry? Who are you angry with? Is your anger exaggerated? Are you willing for a resolution? How can the conflict be resolved?
5. Maintain confidentiality: Rumors can further escalate the conflict. It is best to encourage the conflicting sides to deal directly with each other, instead of venting to others, and maintain confidentiality. Airing your views to others only fuels the rumor mill, which can escalate the conflict. Encourage both sides to work out a plan to settle their differences and also quell rumors that are part of the conflict.
6. Be clear about your requirements: It is a good conflict management skill to be specific about your needs. It is irrational and illogical to expect others to understand what you need, without being told about it. They need to be told about your specific requirement. Do you want them to say sorry or you want them to give the rest of the weekend to rethink and introspect.
7. Communicate with the opposition: In conflicting situations, when the tension is running high, the best strategy to resolve conflict is to find common ground with the opposition and reach compromises or agreements.
8. Hit conflict head-on: The key to resolving conflict lies with preventing them in the first place. Seek out areas of potential conflict. Is a situation ripe that could lead to serious conflict? It would be a good decision to proactively intervene so that conflict is prevented before it could erupt. However, if a conflict does flair up, your intervention would minimize its severity.
9. Don’t use coercion, force, or intimidation: Coercion or emotional outbursts may only help to stop the problem temporarily. You should not be surprised if the same problem resurfaces. Sometimes intimidation may cause the problem to balloon out of control. Wait for your angry emotions to cool down and tell yourself that you want peace of mind, and the conflict would only ruin your inner peace. Emotional self-control is a trick that can come in handy in such situations.
10. Establish guidelines: Keep the communication open and let the conflicting sides agree to the established guidelines before conducting a formal meeting between them. The best way is to let each side express themselves calmly and unemotionally. Let them know that if they violate the guidelines, there would be no end to the conflict. Convince them to spend some time to understand each other’s perspective.
Conflict Management Quotes
1. “We need to learn and to show others that there are tried and tested, powerful ways of containing and resolving conflict which do not require the use of force.” -- Scilla Elworthy
2. "Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude." -- William James
3. “During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.”-- Brian Koslow
4. "Bringing a problem to resolution and closure through continued discussion and compromise is an honorable act as it shows respect for the needs of both partners." -Lynne Namka
5. “You will not be punished for your anger; you’ll be punished by your anger.”- Buddha
6. “Conflict cannot survive without your participation.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
7. “To practice the process of conflict resolution, we must completely abandon the goal of getting people to do what we want.” –Marshall B. Rosenberg
8. “A positive attitude may not resolve all our issues or eliminate all our stressors, but it is the only attitude which can shine light on the way out, or the way through.” – Doe
9. “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine
10. “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain
Conflict Management Tools:
1. Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI®): TKI helps you understand how conflict arises and assesses an individual’s behavior in conflict situations. The tool provides information on different conflict-handling styles that influence group and interpersonal dynamics and to empower conflicting individuals to choose the appropriate conflict handling styles for a specific situation.
2. LBi HR HelpDesk: This is a web-based HR case management solution, where managers can easily access every case’s workflow, notes, documents, data, and history of transactions for review and resolution. With an automated HR help desk, it is simple to the relevant case documents with the appropriate people.
3. Notredamonline: This course is designed for all kinds of workplace conflicts. Learn key negotiation and conflict management tools and techniques so that your team works in a harmonious environment!
4. Plural Sight: In this course, you will learn how to identify conflict before it becomes a crisis. The course teaches some practical tools that will help you prevent conflict before it balloons out of control.
5. HRIS: If employees get into a confrontation, you can leverage this software to get access to fact-based data. The information can help you ease the situation and resolve the issue from aggravating further. You can use the tool to provide real answers to the issues concerning the conflicting employees.
6. Core plus: The workplace conflict resolution plus program provides you with a safe environment to raise workplace concerns and explore conflict resolution options. The program is aimed at building productive teams and reducing workplace tensions.
7. Resolve: The conflict manager is designed to help users learn how to identify potential workplace conflicting situations and prevent problems before they take the form of tragedies. Designed with efficient workflow capabilities, Resolve offers users a revolutionary communication platform for resolving conflicts.
8. WorkinItOut: This soft skill training program is useful for non-traditional workers to prepare for the challenging demands of today’s workplace. It helps participants learn how to resolve conflicts and improve interpersonal relationships.
9. LearningExpress: The workplace skill development course offers an array of interactive resources for participants to enhance soft skills needed for success at work.
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