Workplace conflict can occur in any organization. It is not a problem in itself, but ignoring it could be risky.
Conflict management requires that managers have a good ability to recognize conflicts. This means they should be able to determine potentially conflictual situations and react in order to maintain the organization’s health and employees’ well-being.
Experts agree that there are three main types of conflicts.
The core conflict is a profound disagreement about how to achieve something or what objectives to pursue.
The emotional or personality conflict results from relational problems which are manifested by various feelings such as anger, distrust and resentment.
The organizations’ circumstances, in which competition is strong and restructurings are frequent, cause more opportunities where various factors, such as the boss’s firmness or employee insecurity, can spark emotional conflicts.
The “work-family” conflict appears when an individual must meet both the requirements of their organization and their family.
This results in schedule conflicts, work overload and difficulty adapting to these situations.
The phases of a conflict
Phase 1: the conflict’s history…
The history of a conflict are the conditions which favour the emergence of a new conflict.
The manager cannot ignore them or suppress them temporarily.
Phase 2: the conflict is perceived or felt…
The person who perceives the conflict might be the only one who discerns it. For a conflict to be resolved, all the people involved must be aware of it and feel the need to act.
Phase 3: the conflict emerges…
This phase occurs when the signs of a conflict are now objectified by the manager. At this point, the conflict must be resolved.
The actions taken by the manager will then seek to eliminate the conflict or suppress its symptoms.
In order to manage workplace conflicts better, here are five strategies that can be applied.
The first is accommodation, which involves giving in to the other person to maintain superficial harmony.
The second strategy is avoidance. This involves minimizing differences, dodging the problem, concealing it, or showing unwavering neutrality.
The third strategy is problem resolution. This involves seeking mutual satisfaction by addressing the causes of the conflict head on and finding a solution.
The fourth strategy is confrontation. This involves imposing your preferred solution on others.
The fifth strategy is compromise, that is, ensuring that everyone is partially satisfied.
It is important to remember that effective communication remains an essential interpersonal skill for administrators managing workplace conflicts.
To find out more about this topic, we suggest you read the reference document.
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