Conflict management is the process of planning how to avoid conflict where applicable and organizing on how to resolve where it occurs as soon as possible. People handle conflict differently by standing out with what they consider right. Conflict management involves conflict resolution. Conflict occurs when there is disagreement between people’s opinions, perspectives and values contradictory to what have been aligned to be agreed on. Conflict can occur if one can’t live on what s/he expects when one’s perspectives and values are threatened, when there is a discomfort from fear of unknown or no fulfillment.
Conflict of any type should be managed so as to help in raising and addressing problems, energizing work so as to be the most suitable issues, helps people to be real and learn how to recognize and benefit from their differences (Henry and Borje, 1971, p. 67).
In a workplace conflict do occur as a result of poor communication, employee not understanding reasons for which certain decision was made and not being involved in making decision, employees experience continued surprise for they are not informed of a certain decision. If alignment of resources is insufficient there will be a disagreement. Conflict should be management depending on current situation to avoid it. People should pretend there is no conflict and ignore it.
One should use it when it is not worth to argue. For one to manage conflict should accommodate it, sometimes give it to others. Compete and work towards getting your way instead of addressing and clarifying the main problem. There should be compromise with mutual give and take. People should collaborate on focus on working together (Lambert and Myers, 2002).
In conflict management people should try to find solace and get the best solution this will help in identifying the conflict, identify the issue and involve what is not being done. When there is a choice there is a potential disagreement which brings about disagreement and this should be handled properly since it can lead to more effective, richer, creative solutions and interaction.
Differences can not be easily turned into opportunities. If conflict is poorly handled there is contention that creates sense of psychological distance between people with bitterness, antagonism, alienation, competition and disregard. People are different and they may differ in their ability to handle stress resulting from conflict (Henry and Borje, 1971, p. 67).
Conflict management requires skills, efforts and commitment in facing challenges together. Working together in solving a conflict this helps in making people live in a less stressful and more fulfilling life. People should fight conflict out since it yields negative results and ugliness which increases contention which is considered to be harmful and unproductive. People should engage in avoidance which weakens those relationships which are fragile. People do assume that disagreement has no possible mutual acceptable solution.
Disagreements result in opportunities that strengthen relationships improving productivity. It is not easy to talk over a conflict. In confronting conflicts people should expose oneself to rejection, realize they may have contributed to the problem and willingly change (Lambert and Myers, 2002).
People can reduce stress and resolve conflict increasing productivity by having an effective dialogue. This involves more of listening initiating effective two way exchange which comes naturally. When people are faced with challenges, they tend to review the possible options and come up with solutions. Communication is the main tool of solving and managing conflict. People should carefully seek to first understand then be understood. Should be encouraged to pass their grievances first than listen to ours. People disagreements should focus on their needs instead of their positions. If they concentrate on their positions they underscore their disagreements. Putting it all together helps in having successful negotiation. Mediation helps people talk out issues, repair past injuries and establish mechanisms required for solving disagreements (Lambert and Myers, 2002).
Psychologically people react to conflict in different ways so as to get away from the disagreement. People benefit professionally and personally from conflict management skills such as compromising, avoiding, competing, accommodating and collaborating. Competing on conflict is a high assertiveness and low cooperation. This is suitable for quick action which needs to be embarked on. Computing skills in conflict management includes arguing or debating, stating your position clearly, standing your ground, using rank influence and asserting your opinions and feelings (Lambert and Myers, 2002).
Avoidance is a low assertiveness and low cooperation. Most people avoid conflict by fear of engaging in conflict because they don’t have the confidence in their ways of conflict management. When avoidance is suitable in conflict management there is low importance which reduces tension. Avoidance can be achieved through ability to withdraw from the situation, ability to leave things unresolved, ability to sidestep issues and sense timing (Henry and Borje, 1971, p. 72).
ccommodating is a low assertiveness and high cooperation which is suitable is conflict management showing reasonableness thus establishing performance, creating good will and keeping peace. Most apply accommodation method in managing conflict.
This mode is sometimes moderate assertiveness and cooperation. People compromise giving up more than they require and when is suitable to use compromise, both parties do win. Issues which are moderately significant are the one which requires compromising. Compromising is most used with people who have equal power and in temporary solutions. Compromising skills requires negation, assessing value, making concessions and finding middle ground.
Collaboration is another high assertive and cooperation method of conflict management. This involves putting ideas on top of an idea so as to achieve the best results. The best solution to conflict is termed as creative solution to conflict. Although collaboration is an effective mode of conflict management, it requires great time and energy. Collaboration skills involve active listening, analyzing input, identifying concerns and nonthreatening confrontation (Lambert and Myers, 2002).
Means of conflict management are affected by gender, self-concept, expectations, situations, positions, practice, determining the mode of solution to be used, communication skills used, and life experience. Management of conflict and engagement in other solutions makes people be informed. People should choose which conflict management style to use since people have to know the importance of personal relationship which dictates whether one will be engaged in the conflict management (Lambert and Myers, 2002).
In conflict management people should know the importance the issue has on them, whether they have energy to deal with the situation, are they aware of the potential results of engaging in the conflict, consequences if they don’t engage in the conflict.
Conflict management should involve identification of the management style, skills necessary to management the conflict effectively, approaches required and evaluate the level of comfort after engaging and demonstrate improvement in conflict management skills. People involved in conflict management, they should establish a conflict management plan. When dealing with conflict people should clearly understand the difference between conflict and competition, main cause of the conflict, and conflict between people and individuals.
List of References
Henry, P. & Borje, O. (1971), Personality and leadership behavior, Addison-Wesley Pub, Co
Lambert, K. & Myers, (2002), Understanding conflict and conflict management, retrieved February 2, 2009 from http://www.foundationcoalition.org/publications/brochures/conflict.pdf