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What is Conflict Management?
Conflict Management at Work.
Conflict is like Thanos: It's Inevitable.
As a manager in a company, we know that peace and harmony within the workplace are essential for all departments to function.
In a healthy work environment, everything usually goes well; workers do their tasks more enthusiastically when it goes well.
However, no matter how much we specify in the job, the work environment is fantastic, and we all treat each other like "family" in the office. From time to time, conflicts often come to light, and whether it is a temporary conflict or one that has been incubating for a long time, it is best to resolve it as soon as possible.
Yes, conflict is inevitable, but in the same way that happened to the villain of the Avengers, Thanos, everything can be resolved civilized (without the need for battles between sides).
Conflict management is a discipline that provides negotiation and problem-management tools to bring things back into harmony. This article is helpful for those managers who need something to be in order within the workplace; even so, you can extrapolate these techniques to other areas of life, such as family or couple.
To learn more about this, look at this entire article!
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What is Conflict Management?
A conflict is a disagreement between two people or even groups that do not agree on an opinion or way of doing things, and by not reaching a middle ground, harmful friction is generated between them.
In the work environment, a conflict can occur for multiple reasons, whether it is the irresponsibility of a member, not following orders and doing what the other wants, problems of labour competitiveness or even non-compliance with the rules of coexistence.
By reading all these conflict triggers, you can notice a negative charge in them and weigh how uncomfortable and unpleasant it is when one of these occurs.
Whether you believe in energies or not, it is common sense to sense when the environment is tense due to a problem or even deduce that there has been a conflict when entering a room. The atmosphere is heavy and uncomfortable, and when that happens in a place where people must be proactive and give their best, it is not the most appropriate.
Conflict management seeks to correct these problems through psychological tricks, coexistence manuals, and negotiation strategies.
Strategies for Conflict Management.
To learn more about it, we will move on to which are the most used strategies in terms of conflict management.
This type of strategy tries to get one of the people to accommodate the need of the other person. This way of solving things is good for conflicts that are not so serious when one of the people considers it unimportant and can give in to what the other asks for.
This resolution style can also go hand in hand with the saying "putting yourself in the shoes of others," where what is sought is to show empathy if necessary.
For example, let's say you work for a business that has a no-refund policy.
However, a dispute suddenly arises, and a customer has a poor experience with the product and wants a refund. In this part, it is your job as a manager to analyze the causes of the displeasure, and if it turns out that it was a company error, it is best to stand up for the business and break small rules to accommodate the situation.
If you solve this problem effectively, you could make a disgruntled customer happy, increasing their chances of giving you another chance.
Compromising is all about getting to the middle ground. When the conflict you manage is much more important than getting one side correct, it is best to find a middle ground in which both parties can be, if not happy, at least in agreement with the agreement.
In this case, the goal is not the middle ground but for everyone to be happy.
As a manager, you know that some teams or people must be happy with each other at all costs. When the relationship between the two is more important than the conflict, it is best to make both happy with the decision.
One example can be looking for a solution between shareholders to keep the relationship strong.
This is the technique where you have to stand by yourself and defend your position. When you know that the other interlocutor is doing wrong or his arguments are invalid, you must keep your authority firm until you cross your path effectively. This management style is appropriate when a decision has to be made quickly, a long-term conflict needs to be resolved, or you are standing up for your rights or the rights of others. Check these Amazon FBA tips to grow your business and see how optimising your Amazon listing could help you grow.
Although most books will tell you that avoiding things makes them worse, in reality, sometimes it is the best way out.
You see, sometimes some conflicts are minimal - there are people whose greatest talent is drowning in a glass of water - and therefore, if the problem is not alarming enough, the best solution is to avoid it.
Avoidance is also a tactical tool when you don't know what to answer, and if you can give yourself a chance to reorganize your ideas, you can now confront the problem optimally.
Even so, here we want to quote a saying that will help you a lot with these problems that are avoided.
Learn to pick your battles.
You see, beyond jumping from conflict to conflict or resolving any minor inconvenience that arises, the most sensible thing to do is to know which must be resolved and which ones can be avoided since they can be misunderstandings or things that will resolve over time.
The ability of a manager to know how to act in moments that are worth it gives him greater credibility, so it is good that you develop a nose for what you should act and what not.
Conflict can be good.
Now in this part of the article, we want to give you another point of view on the topic: conflict can also be good and even necessary.
You see, sometimes the reason for a conflict can be the symptom that something is not working well within the company's modus operandi.
When this type of conflict arises, both parties should see it as a challenge, and to get out of it is best to look for creative and ingenious alternatives to improve the company's operation.
The Conflict Management Process.
Conflict in the work area is toxic, and among other effects that cause we have:
- Resentment and frustration
- Passive aggression and communication issues
- Increased stress and stress-related health problems
- Low morale
- Reduced productivity
- Staff turnover
However, the idea will never be to fear conflict since the more we fear things, the more we attract them to our work area.
As we said before, conflict is a natural part of life; therefore, to better confront it, it is best to know what to do when it occurs.
Don't ignore it; acknowledge it.
When a conflict comes to you that needs resolution, you get rid of the avoidance strategy and get down to business with it.
Often, the people who call themselves people pleasers tend to be chronic avoidants, but if your job is to be a manager, you should know that your task is not to please everyone but to manage things so they work.
So, when you identify a sufficiently vexing problem, you must quickly act on it.
Involve both parties.
Once you have the context from both sides of the discussion, the next thing is to give them a space to discuss their points of view with you as a mediator.
Establishing some guidelines for the discussion is good, such as that you should behave and try to speak as calmly as possible.
Find a solution.
By letting off steam and giving their point of view on the situation, they may let down their guard and understand each other's perspective.
Your task here as a mediator is to lead the debate to the most beneficial solution for the company.
However, if there is no solution to the problem, it is time to set up a resolution for the conflict and then plan the steps that should be followed once your solution is determined.
Keep monitoring the situation.
It may surprise you that there are more steps after "the solution," but the problem is that they are not resolved automatically after the meeting. You have to see how it evolves.
As a manager, you must keep in touch with both parties to ensure everything runs smoothly. Always keep in touch until you feel that everything is genuinely flowing peacefully.
Now, if you see that the problem persists, other measures must be taken.
Even in medium conflicts, it sometimes takes several meetings for the two involved to talk enough to understand each other truly. It is similar to going to a psychologist, and you will not be cured just with an appointment.
The idea is to exhaust every last option for dialogue, and if it doesn't turn out well, then attend higher instances that see how a final solution can be given.
Work to avoid conflict.
As a manager, you can see conflict as a way to learn. After each conflict, you can identify those things that are not working in your work environment and thus work to create more efficient ways for everything to be at peace.
Extra tips for Conflict Management.
Team members must respect authorities.
We often see authority as the enemy, but like it or not, it is always important that there is a leading figure to avoid conflict.
As a manager, you must know how to choose those people who lead each department and that they have the ability and talent to manage their team.
Within your team, you must make them understand that they should follow plans to the letter and that there is no opportunity for a creative license from then on.
Why do we say this?
Well, it is expected that there are egos within each team and even team members who feel that they can do everything better than their leader.
Whether this is true or not, everyone must respect the established plan since, if not, a final product may arrive that is not what was desired.
There are moments to share ideas with the team and even recommend a better alternative to the one proposed. But once everything has been approved, everyone should know there is no opportunity to comment or generate discord regarding what is established.
In the business world, it is best to put feelings aside when it comes to the well-being of your work. Having a little thick skin when making decisions within your management is essential. While you are an empath and understand that people have their feelings and problems, you also need to hold your ground when making decisions that could affect people. We get it tough, but handling issues that get out of hand is necessary.
Skills you should have as a Conflict Manager.
At the end of this article, we want to mention all these skills that you should continue developing to be more effective when resolving conflicts. Among these, we have:
- Communication: You have to know how to express your ideas convincingly.
- Discussion: You must be able to argue with points of view contrary to yours without losing your temper.
- Empathy: In any conflict, you should avoid the blame game and understand that everyone makes mistakes.
- Listening: As a mediator, it is essential that you know how to listen to people, as this is how they feel understood. Likewise, this helps you understand both parts of the problem and thus be able to make more accurate conclusions.
- Impartiality: You must know how to separate the conflict from the people since the friendship or camaraderie you may have with one of them can cloud your judgment.
- Patience: Conflicts can take time to resolve, so it's important not to lose your cool in the face of them.
- Mediation: This is the ability to achieve satisfactory agreements between opposing groups
- Assertiveness: Maintain your final decision at the expense of what others may think.
- Avoiding criticism: Avoid at all costs criticizing an opinion even if you disagree with it. Instead, try to treat her respectfully.
- Responsibility: The ability to take responsibility for your actions when it is due
- Humor: Humor is an excellent catalyst to lower the tension under challenging encounters. Learn to use it in appropriate situations.
Some people usually run away from conflict, but as a manager, you know this is not an option for you. On the other hand, arming yourself with courage is necessary to face that metaphorical "Thanos" that can torment the well-being of your workplace and thus handle any inconvenience with the strategies indicated according to the case.
At Codedesign, we like to help you in your professional development, so you can continue to expect articles of this type to help you grow your job skills.
If you need help in any area of digital marketing, contact us and let's talk more about it.