Conflict Management

Professional conflicts are encountered quite commonly. Irrespective of its causes like owner disagreements, personal matters, issues with regard to vendor relations, client issues or competitive conditions, our professional lives provide ample opportunities to handle it. Sometimes it is seen that most avoid conflict rather than effectively addressing it due to the fact that managing conflict is not expected to be a fun or comfortable. However, having to manage conflict strategically is regarded as one of the most successful skill in life. Conflict occurs when there prevail contradictory values, perspectives and opinions those have not been aligned or agreed about yet and inclusive of the situations when it is not possible to live as per the values; threatening of values and perspectives; discomfort due to fear of the unknown or due to lack of fulfillment.

Conflicts are regarded as unavoidable and sometimes are found to be productive. Conflict assists in occurrence and dealing of problems; assists people to become practical and motivates them to involve; energizes work to be on the most appropriate matters; assists people learning the ways to acknowledge and benefit from their differences. However, conflict is viewed as problematic when it calls upon the productivity, declines the morale, results in more and persistent conflicts and leads to inappropriate behaviors. Sometimes various managerial actions give rise to workplace conflicts. Firstly, the inappropriate communications that leads to employees to experience persistent surprises when they are not informed of new decisions, programs etc.

Due to lack of proper communication employees often cannot comprehend the reasons for decisions making of which they are not associated with that lead them to faith on the rumor than the management. Secondly, the conflict arises when the alignment or the amount of resources is inadequate. There is no agreement on work distribution and fatigue of working with insufficient resources. Thirdly, the conflict occurs when the personal chemistry of managers and employees especially strong personal natures are not compatible. Sometimes it is not possible accept the nature in others those are not acceptable in ourselves. Fourthly, the conflict arises as a result of leadership problems that include inconsistent, missing, too-strong or less informed leadership. This is quite visible with the circumstances of inclinations for avoidance of conflict and lack of understanding of the jobs of the subordinates by the supervisors.

It is common to react seriously when some one is in disagreement with others. Some are getting mad within but prefer to keep quite outwardly; some try to avoid without preferring to argue; some out burst, criticize, call names and use sarcasm or show aggressive behavior; some surrender to avoid conflict; some pretend that everything is smooth and no conflict occurs. Irrespective of the fact that the occurrence of interpersonal conflict is common, however, it does not imply that it is always negative and destructive. Generally, harmony is regarded as normal and conflict is regarded as abnormal. But only the conflict is natural, normal and unavoidable whenever people interact among themselves. The conflict is normally accepted as the out of personality differences. But generally, personalities never conflict; it is the behavior of people that conflicts.

The general misconception is to regard conflict and disagreement as the same. However, disagreement is the out come of difference of opinion while the conflict is more threatening. Disagreement is normally restrained and fairly calm while the conflict is unreasoned and violent. The analysis of human behavior reveals the conflict to be inevitable. Sometimes, clashes occur more over perceived differences than the real ones. Conflict results in when there is absence of proper communications. The deficiency of effective sharing of ideas and feelings permits the other person to fill in the gap. It can easily be perceived or to expect the response of other persons and anticipate negative things that encourages anxiety giving rise to do things. The varied values and faiths impose different people to adhere to different goals or differing modes to attain the similar objectives. Since the attainment of objectives necessitate deployment of necessary time, effort and sacrifice it is not possible to pursue one objective without sacrificing the other to some extent. Sometimes lack of efficient leadership or decision making results in conflicts. When it is not compatible with the leadership or the ways the things are get done in any specific situation is considered a source of conflict. In the circumstances when one parent in a family anticipates democratic decision and the other the autocratic one then it may not be possible to find a solution to honest difference of opinion and conflict arising out of this becomes a 'win-loss' struggle.

The conflict arises when there are discrepancies in performance of roles. There are difficulties when two people visualize the role of each other from different angles. When the perception of role of a wife is divergent from that of the husband's view point conflict may occur. However, if the role of man as a male and husband mixes well with the role of women as female and wife then the conflict will be less. Conflict arises when there is low productivity. The capability of performing a task and attainment of the objectives is considered as an essential element in any work or family environment. And if the task is not performed it gives rise to discontentment. When the other person reacts to our anger by performing the duty, a response trend of anger is resorted to in order to accomplish the objects. Couples having low productivity in their marriage may try nagging, making trade-offs and criticizing, but such trends generate only short-term success.

Variation entails disequilibrium. While the variation is considered to be constant for people working and living together, another given is that people choose to become secured, to have predictable styled reactions to the strangers. While the changes come out suddenly and unpredictably, conflict may come out. The process for such change may go on for a long time but suddenly it generates anger, anxiety and confusion. While the number of past unresolved conflicts enhances between people so does the possibility of future ones. Many people avoid conflict management since memories of past conflicts still hurt. While managing the interpersonal conflicts and dealing with a conflict with another person to attain a more productive result it is first worthwhile to infuse five tests into it. Firstly, it is to be determined whether the concern for conflict is worth the effort to resolve it. Secondly, it is to be found out if the other person in the conflict is really significant.

Thirdly, it is to be ascertained if talking about the concern really develops the relationship. Fourthly, it is to be ascertained if it is prepared to spend necessary time and energy talking about the issue and assisting the other person by listening. Finally, is a suitable time and place for this confrontation is preferred? When all such queries generate positive replies then it is worthwhile to go on resolving the issue, otherwise it is preferred to find out another way of expressing the concerns of sharing feelings, without problem solving. Various strategies have been evolved to address the disagreement and conflict. The disagreement by itself is not regarded as the reason of antagonism, hostility and conflict. Many a times the inability to listen and permit alternative views to be heard give rise to these feelings.

There are normally five broad strategies people normally deploy in dealing with disagreement and conflict-power, compromise, withdraw-avoid, placate-yield, and synergy. Firstly, the strategy is "I win, you lose'. This process is associated with applying power and winning by force or coercion. It may involve the methods of pulling rank, brow beating or simply the outmaneuvering the opposition. The remarkable characteristics of the power strategy are that solution of the problem is not related to the relative merits of arguments. Adopting such style as a strategy view the conflict as having two expected results-winning or losing. The self-esteem or competency increases with winning.

The second strategy is 'I win a little, you win a little'. This gives rise to compromise as a negotiated solution on the basis that each person would make some relaxation to the other. But within this style, the other person may still be viewed as an opponent. The policy of compromise is sometimes viewed as a mode of making the solution more tolerable to each party. It is taken to be persuasive and sometimes regarded as manipulative conflict management style in which both objectives are frequently played against the middle in an attempt to serve the common objective. The third strategy is 'I lose, you lose. The Hopelessness is the crucial characteristic of this withdrawal and avoids strategy. The strategy is devised as a policy to safeguard one from being caught in persistent struggles that cannot be won. An anticipation of losing features such policy and it is preferred to undergo frustration instead and to leave the conflict psychologically and physically withdraw the conflict. It is regarded as the refuge for persons those haveā€¦