Conflicts are part and parcel of every organization, family, community, and even business. It is inevitable to live without conflicts when interacting with different characters here and there. Generally, conflicts are triggered by poor communication, personality clashes, unhealthy workplace competition, jealousy, differences in values and working styles, bullying and harassment, perceived unfairness, and of course, insufficient management. Interestingly; conflicts can either affect us positively or negatively. For instance; healthy conflicts can lead to positive effects such as creating changes, triggering goal congruence, and innovativeness within an organization. Sadly, the adverse effects of conflicts outnumber the positives undisputedly.
- Low productivity
- Broken or strained relationships
- Risk of violence
- Wastage of resources and time
- Employees’ retention problems
- Broken dreams, among many others.
To avert the above, it is imperative to come up with effective conflict resolution strategies for the sake of your organization’s missions.
Here are 5 tested and proved ways of managing conflict before it manages you;
The accommodating mode is best used where winning is not as important as keeping a relationship, or when an issue is too important to one individual. While overusing this approach can be mistaken for weakness, accommodating can lead to long-term peace of mind, high productivity, and team-work.
Sometimes a compromise can save the day more so when dealing with not so important issues. Opting for the compromising approach does not necessarily make you a loser or a coward. It simply means you know when to make the right decision to resolve conflicts. However; extreme care has to be exercised when using the compromise mode to avoid triggering trust issues, cynicism, and disrespect from those you lead.
The competitive approach is ideal for those who have no problem taking firm stands to win. Most people feel that this style is too aggressive and assertive, which can efficiently fuel more conflicts, but it all depends on individuals. It works well for those who believe in standing up for their rights, decisions, and principles. Just like everything else, this approach has its own downsides. Overusing it will obviously make those around you feel suppressed, powerless, bullied, un-empowered and defeated. By and large, this style is best used when an urgent yet unpopular decision is needed.
Avoidance is the best way of managing conflicts. You have the option of walking out on trivial issues rather than stay and escalate the conflict. Well, walking away may seem like a cowardly act, but it’s one of the most straightforward strategies to manage conflict. Sometimes making this move can save you from a lot of trouble. Not everything deserves your undivided attention. While at it, ensure that your usage of the avoiding mode will not fester and grow into a full-blown conflict. All the same; taking this approach means you are ready to accept whatever comes your way provided you avoid a nasty confrontation over trivial matters.
The collaborating mode is one of the most effective ways of managing conflicts, mainly when dealing with important issues that are not urgent. It’s primarily favored by those who have a preference for cooperation and assertiveness. Its best used when engaging team members to give their opinions, perspectives, and solutions to common goals or projects. Additionally, it’s great for the team building purpose. Unfortunately; misusing the collaboration mode can lead to low productivity, laxity, inefficiency, time wastage, and irresponsibility.
Take your time to familiarize yourself with the above five strategies of managing conflict then implement them when facing different, and you’ll succeed in solving them.