Academic Master

Human Resource And Management

Conflict Management Styles

Introduction

We, as humans, are susceptible to conflicts in our lives. Therefore, the occurrence of conflict within the workplace is inevitable. The chance of conflicts is further enhanced by the differences in the beliefs and values of various employees, and this difference may lead to misunderstandings between the employees. Such a conflict must be avoided in the first place. However, if a conflict does arise, it needs to be adequately managed to enhance the performance and productivity of the organization.

Conflict Management in the Workplace

In the case of a conflict in the workplace, it is the duty of the managers to adopt strategies to manage it in a suitable manner. Firstly, the manager should clearly define the behavior that is deemed acceptable within the workplace. It would prove to be an important step towards avoiding the occurrence of conflicts in the first place. However, it is not always possible to avoid conflicts. Therefore, if a conflict arises, intervening as quickly as possible is imperative. as it would minimize the severity of the conflict. Also, the manager should carefully consider both sides of the argument to understand their points of view. Hence, it can be said that listening is the most important part of the conflict management process. Conflicts should be seen as an opportunity to enhance the learning of the employees as well as the manager.

Styles of Conflict Management

There are five major styles of conflict management. However, there is no style that is more effective than the rest, and the style adopted depends on the nature of the conflict or the one most suited for the workplace.

Competing

This style of conflict management is characterized by the person giving priority to her interests in front of the interests of the other party. Yes, competition with others to win is good, but it should be noted that merely considering one’s own desires may not prove to be positive in the long run for the organization. Such a style is an impediment to cooperation among the employees and is highly assertive in nature. However, it is recommended that rapid actions and decisions be made.

Avoiding

This style is characterized by responsible people, like the managers, not satisfying not only their own concerns but the concerns of others as well. It enhances cooperation and is the least assertive among all the styles of conflict management. Its basic purpose is delaying the conflict. However, in most of the cases, it is regarded as an ineffective and weak approach. Its frequent utilization may render the manager useless, and she may lose respect in the eyes of her subordinates.

Compromising

Such a conflict management style focuses on establishing a middle ground between the two conflicting parties. Compromising involves letting go of some concerns of one’s own to incorporate some of the concerns of the other party. It is used in most cases as it ensures that some of the interests of both parties are satisfied. It is a moderate style that is adequately assertive as well as cooperative. Also, it expects the equal involvement of both parties and therefore, the conflict is resolved more rapidly and properly as it creates harmony in the workplace.

Accommodating

Such a style involves letting go of one’s own concerns to satisfy the concerns of the other party. Hence, it is the least assertive among all the conflict management styles. However, an accommodating style offers the maximum cooperation. It may be used to maintain and establish good relationships with others in the workplace. Such a friendly workplace environment allows the smooth running of the organizational processes, and such a style demonstrates a caring and harmonious ideology.

Collaborating

The collaborating style of conflict management is regarded as a positive style, as it does not focus merely on the concerns and issues of a single party. It is characterized by a concern to satisfy both sides involved. Moreover, it offers maximum assertiveness, all the while ensuring maximum cooperation. Therefore, it can be rightly regarded as a win-win approach to conflict management.

Choosing a collaborating strategy to manage conflicts in the workplace ensures that all the people involved in the organizational process collaborate, work collectively, and perform in tandem towards the common organizational goals and objectives. It is an integrative approach that involves the synergy of beliefs and ideas, thereby creating an effective outcome for the problem. Moreover, it creates a sense of satisfaction and happiness for both parties as the solution is mutually beneficial. It also enhances the commitment of the employees to their jobs and assignments.

However, it is imperative for the manager to be open-minded and mature with the perspective of the greater good in mind. Also, the staff should have such a mentality for the approach to be effective. They should recognize the importance of cooperation and acknowledge the fact that there is enough for everyone, and competition would be detrimental to their own interests as well as the interests of the organization. It is important for both parties to let go of their emotional feelings to win at the expense of others. The approach of collaboration, thus, is not simple and requires the investment of extensive effort, communication, thinking, and time.

An effective collaborating style creates high-quality professional relationships and keeps the best interests of both sides in mind. However, due to the extensive time, effort, and cooperation demanded by such an approach, it may only be used in cases of very important problems.

This style has a lot of advantages, such as it offers sincere efforts to listen to a wide variety of ideas and, hence, adopts the most effective one. The process results in mutual leering of the employees and enhances the understanding among them. The combined efforts in this style ensure synergy and increase respect for each other. Moreover, it maximizes the commitment of the employees, all the while making sure that the results are effective and of high quality.

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