What is conflict management?
Conflict – simply put – is a dispute about important issues. Mostly, conflicts are not wanted, they often destroy our sense of security. However, we want it or not, they are part of our daily activities and their sources are various. What’s more, many of them play a useful role, because finally, they let you look at suppressed problems. The basic conclusion is one: conflicts must be resolved.
Conflict management is one of the essential skills that a manager or entrepreneur must master.
Conflicts in the workplace are more frequent than we think: these can involve employees at all levels, from individuals to entire teams.
Conflict management in workgroups is a fundamental skill for any type of professional.
When we talk about conflict management, in general, we refer to the opportunity to mediate difficult situations and strengthen the bonds between individuals or groups.
The ultimate aim of conflict management skills is to make everyone feel listened to and respected while negotiating a mutually beneficial solution that everyone can accept.
The soft skills that every good manager or entrepreneur should have to facilitate conflict resolution are:
- Interpersonal skills: fundamental to regulate relationships between people or groups of people. Knowing how to listen and understand requests and inconveniences is the best start to resolve a conflict;
- Communication skills: often to avoid a conflict it is enough to have a clear verbal and written communication;
- Problem-solving: among the most common causes of conflict there is certainly the tension to not be able to find immediate solutions to a problem. Attitude for problem-solving is certainly a precious resource.
5 styles of conflict management:
- Competition: when we pursue our goals without worrying about those of others. In competition, overcoming conflict means winning, and to make our position prevail over that of the other, we use all the necessary power.
- Adjustment: it is the opposite of competition. In adapting to the other, we deny our will to accept that of others. We sacrifice our will to obey an order or give in to another person’s point of view.
- Escape: when we do not face conflict, and therefore we do not care about our will or that of others. The escape takes the form of postponing the conflict to a later moment, of definitively withdrawing from the threatening situation or of circumventing the problem in a diplomatic way.
- Collaboration: is an assertive and collaborative style and is the opposite of escape. When we collaborate, we try to work with the person with whom we are in conflict to find ways to satisfy the will of both. We investigate the problem, identify mutual concerns and desires, and try to find a third alternative – perhaps with a creative solution – that meets everyone’s needs.
- Compromise: when we look for, a middle ground that partially satisfies both sides. The compromise lies somewhere between competition and adaptation: as opposed to escaping, it deals directly with conflict, but not as thoroughly as it does in collaboration.
It is up to us where, when, and what style of conflict resolution we will use. It looks different in professional relations – during relationships with clients and the boss; and at home – during everyday battles for choosing the color of the walls in the living room. However, it is worth mastering all of them. In this way, you can control reality more easily and increase your effectiveness in various fields.