Conflict management styles refers to the methods or approaches taken or developed to respond to instabilities or discord in an organization for instance measures taken to handle divergent opinions or viewpoints. In most organizations violence is experienced in the form of simple assaults. Such are more prevalent in the private sector where job security is not guaranteed as opposed to government positions. Causes of such violence could be due to relationship or domestic disputes. Differences between people with varying specialties could also arise due to differences in religions, cultural or political affiliations where by one is treated differently because he or she is from a varying group. (Batcheldor M, 2000)
Work place violence involves the violent acts perpetrate on person at work or on duty and it could include physical assaults like rape, sexual assault and robbery. Effective policies should be put in place so that the management caters for its workers against any form of mistreatment.
Leaders in an organization should be competent enough to develop appropriate skills needed to best handle conflict in the organization. They have to establish the problem and its cause before deciding the most appropriate style to use. The methods include competing, accommodating, avoiding, compromising and collaborating. The most effective style would be the one that works to attain the goals of the work place and hence profitable for the firm. Setting up a tribunal to help the employees’ air their grievances and justice would prevail. An effective or harmonious relationship between the employees and the management is very beneficial as it will see the realization of the firm’s goals. (Speed L, 1997).
Use of competition is where one individual who is at a higher rank economically or socially is able to pursue his or her interests at the expense of a lower rank employee. Such individuals use their powerful status to oppress or exploit those without the means. For instance a boss may sexually harass an employee who will be quite for fear of losing their jobs. This approach is biased as only the powerful will benefit.
An accommodative approach is appropriate as it enables a person in a higher rank to forgo his interest to serve the lower ranked person. Self sacrifice is the clear aspect identified here and the situation created is a win lose one. Accommodation may also involve forcing someone to forego some of their interest for the sake of others. In both accommodative and competition one party gains as the other looses.
Another approach that can be chosen is avoidance whereby the needs are postponed for a later date. No action is taken on either party. In case of work place violence this is a form of delayed justice. This approach is not appropriate as it does not work to solve the current issue or problem and it may persist. It could work best only when withdrawing would work to evade a threatening solution. The timing could be in appropriating calling for attention at a later time period. (Batcheldor M, 2000)
A compromising approach entails choosing or selecting a solution that tends to address both parties. An acceptable solution that serves the offender and the offended to certain capacities is established. This approach ensures that both parties are attended to and consequently it could work to sustain healthy relationship in the work place.
The collaboration approach is the best conflict management style. Collaboration involves working together with all parties involved to find solutions that are beneficial or those that addresses the concerns or needs of all the people involved. An organization that uses this approach will try to establish the underlying causes of all the problems in the organization. It will listen carefully to both parties and come up with solutions that are satisfactory to all. It also works to maintain mutual respect and enhance a good relationship between members with conflicting interests. This arises because both parties feel appreciated and respected. Again it creates a win-win situation where no party looses. (Speed L, 1997).
When using this approach the management seeks to first determine the nature of the conflict. The expectations of all parties are addressed as active listening is done. After establishing the root cause of the problem and generating suitable solutions the best solution is adopted and it entails collectivity and not coercion. The implementation process then begins where roles are delegated at specified times. To monitor the progress or the effectiveness of the plan a review is done after a specified time period.
Batcheldor M. 2000. The Elusive Intangible Intelligence: Conflict Management and Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace. The Western Scholar.
Leas Speed. 1997. Discover Your Conflict Management Style. Washington D.C. Alban Institute.