What is Conflict Management?
Conflict management is the practice of being able to identify and handle conflicts sensibly, fairly, and efficiently. It is the process of dealing with (perceived) incompatibilities or disagreements arising from, for example, diverging opinions, objectives, and needs.
Conflict management is the process of limiting the negative aspects of conflict while increasing the positive aspects of conflict. The aim of conflict management is to enhance learning and group outcomes, including effectiveness or performance in an organisational setting. Properly managed conflict can improve group outcomes.
Since conflicts in a business are a natural part of the workplace, it is important that there are people who understand conflicts and know how to resolve them. This is important in today’s market more than ever. Everyone is striving to show how valuable they are to the company they work for and at times, this can lead to disputes with other members of the team.
Types of Conflict Management Skills
Most unnecessary conflict can be avoided simply with clear, accurate written and verbal communication; a single lost email could lead to failed plans and fingers pointed.
Assumptions about what other people already know, think, or intend can cause resentment or worse. Some people argue just because they want to feel heard.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand your own feelings and those of others, and to handle those feelings well. People who have high emotional intelligence are good at identifying and meeting the needs of others while taking responsibility for their own needs and feelings.
Empathy means feeling what others feel. The ability to see a situation from someone else’s viewpoint, and to understand their needs, motivations, and possible misunderstandings, is critical to effective conflict management.
Creative Problem Solving
Understanding and communication are all very well and good, but do not help much if you don’t have a solution for the underlying problem, whatever that problem may be. Conflict often happens because no one can come up with a workable solution, so resolving the conflict depends on creating a solution. That makes problem-solving an in-demand skill for employers.
When you practice active listening, you are letting others know that you want to hear what they have to say and that it’s important to you to understand their thoughts. Active listening shows respect and involves looking the other person in the eye, nodding as they speak and then taking a moment to comprehend what they’ve said before you respond or ask questions. When you take the time to actively listen, you are hearing other perspectives that can help you manage conflicts better.
Maintaining a positive attitude can help you process and work through conflict so that the result is a more cohesive workplace. Positivity helps you realise that mistakes happen and, therefore, you can figure out how to avoid conflict over it and move on.
It’s important to keep in mind that the problem may not be solved right away, even if the solution is obvious. Ideally, you’ll want to take the time to listen to every participant and value each argument evenly. Even if there’s a clear answer, rushing to a resolution can make people feel like they’re left out in the decision-making process. (Although there is one exception to this rule.)Taking the time to equally consider all options now can help create a long-term solution that will save you a headache later.
In this type of situation, it’s best to separate the conflict from the people who are involved with it. Don’t focus on the people and their personal characteristics. Instead, look at the problem itself and center your energy on finding a solution. While it might be important to work through those past issues at some point, don’t deprioritise the situation at hand now to solve the older ones. Remember the mantra: important vs. urgent. You can definitely work on the other important issues that impede you from meeting goals at a later time, but urgent issues should be handled first.
Conflict Management Training involves:
- A brief overview of conflict psychology and theory
- How to identify early warning signs of intensifying conflicts communication skills
- Better listening skills 3-part assertion messages
- Enhanced ability to understand and attend to co-worker needs and feelings
- Mediating disputes between team members, and between employees and customers
Conflict management plays a very important role in preventing conflicts among individuals. How does a conflict arise? When individuals strongly oppose each other’s opinions and ideas, the probability of a conflict arises. A conflict starts when individuals think on different lines and find it very difficult to accept each other’s ideas. Conflict must be avoided as it destroys the peace, lowers the productivity as well as demotivates the individuals. All the factors leading to a fight must be explored and efforts must be made to prevent a conflict. A conflict is not very easy to control; an individual needs certain skills for the same. Learn more by joining one of our conflict resolution training sessions.