Conflict management in the workplace

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Oh well, I suppose this happens everywhere. Wherever there are people co-existing for a purpose, there is bound to be conflict in which way a harmonious environment wouldn’t be attained anyway. Am I speaking too much grammar?

Take for instance, two people working on a project and one has more vocal and dominating ideas than the other. The other can so much agree with this dominating figure till it becomes apparent that his input in the project has been shoved aside. Now, two things can either happen – stand down and let the other person champion the project and claim he/she was on the project committee or speak up and lend his opinion to the course and actually be negotiator in the project. Now, if he/she chooses to stand down and have the other person brag about delivery rights, this reaction/feeling toward the other person may become somewhat of a conflict issue, given that he/she may develop grievances from the work relation.

Managing the conflict in this context, which is as well as the application to any other conflict management, would involve exploring mature means of limiting the negative possible outcomes from the confrontation while increasing the positive outcomes from the situation. While conflict is hardly ever unavoidable in all situations, the aim of conflict management is to enhance togetherness, learning through and group outcomes. There has been a high track record that properly managed conflict can improve situation outcomes which is my compulsion to put this post out. So that in every situation we find ourselves, especially in the workplace, we are enlightened as to how to behave at all times to minimize the occurrence of conflict and grievances or be better educated on how to handle them when eventually they occur on our interactions with our colleagues.

Here is a list of things you might want to imbibe to better manage conflict situations you may find yourself:

  1. Open an avenue for communication with the other person – be objective, not emotional
  2. Restrict your airing to behavior and events, not on personality – in most cases if the other mature as you, they will work at distancing themselves from the behavior that caused grievance between the both of you.
  3. Listen – objectively too, not with sentiments
  4. Identify points of agreements and disagreements
  5. Prioritize the areas of conflict
  6. Develop a workable plan to work on each conflict
  7. Follow through your plan
  8. Work your way through your success – with work, your colleagues and reputation/relationships

However, there are certain myths about conflict which should be noted:

Myth 1: Harmony is normal, conflict is abnormal. Reality: Conflict an inevitable and normal part of the cycle of enduring relationships.

Myth 2: Conflict is the same as disagreement. Reality: Conflicts are more serious than disagreements. They require more investment.

Myth 3: Conflict should never be escalated. Reality: Sometimes productive management requires that the conflict be made larger so it can be fully addressed.

Myth 4: Managing conflict should be orderly and polite. Reality: Overly nice communication can result in insincere exchange. Productive conflict management is often disorderly, chaotic, and confusing.

Myth 5: Anger is the primary emotion of conflict. Reality: Many emotions affect conflict.

Myth 6: One should find the right way to resolve conflict—fight, vote, litigate, appeal to authority. Reality: These are “Win-Lose “strategies. “Win-Win,” collaborative, consensus seeking approaches often work best for both parties.

So, still in the spirit of spreading joy, let’s be mindful about what’s beneficial and stay away from negativity.

Cheers,

Buki

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