Conflict strategies

The traditional view of conflict is that all conflict is bad and must be avoided. but also that some conflict is absolutely necessary for an ithin the organisation to perform effectively. We label this isolationist view of conflict. Human relations view is that conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in any organisation. Interactionist view of conflict that some conflict is necessary for an organisation to perform effectively. The interactionist view does not propose that all conflicts are good. Rather some conflicts support the goals of the organisation; these are functional conflicts of a constructive form.

However, some conflicts prevent an organisation from achieving its goals; these are dysfunctional conflicts and are destructive forms. Functional conflict supports the organisation's goals. Dysfunctional conflict can prevent an organisation from achieving its goals. Conflict strategies When you become engaged in a conflict, two major concerns you have to take into account are: 1 achieving your goals. Each person has personal goals that he or she wishes to achieve. You are in conflict. You are in conflict because your goals conflict with other person's goals.

Your goal may be placed on a continuum from being of little importance to you being highly important. 2. Maintaining a good relationship with the other person(s). Some relationships are temporary while some are long term. Some long-term relationships are vital and others are peripheral. Your relationship with the other person may be place on a continuum from being of little importance to you to being highly important. Communication differences are disagreements arising from semantic difficulties, misunderstandings and noise in the communication channels.

What might first look like an interpersonal conflict based on poor communication is usually upon closer analysis, to be a disagreement caused by different role requirement goals, personalities, value systems or similar factors. Options. Available: Each of these five styles is appropriate in some situations and inappropriate in others; supervisors therefore need not only to be able to use each of them, but also to know when each should be used. Avoidance - withdrawal from of conflict or suppression.

Avoiding is unassertive and unco-operative: you pursue neither own concerns nor those of the other person, but "let sleeping dogs", sweeping the conflict "under the carpet" and pretending it isn't there or perhaps hoping it will go away. Inappropriately avoiding issues leads to resentment, displacement of feelings and griping, general discontent and gossiping. Of course, avoiding might also take the form of diplomatic sidestepping an issue, postponing discussion until a better time, or simply withdrawing from a threatening situation. So avoiding can have its uses especially if neither the relationship nor the issue is important to you.

Many potential conflict situations are just not worth the time and effort of getting involved. Or you may want to collect more information rather take immediate action. Sometimes temporary avoidance is the best policy to let everyone "cool down". Avoidance is also a good choice when it is more appropriate for others to handle the conflict Accommodation - resolving conflicts by placing another's needs and concerns above one's own. Accommodating is unassertive and co-operative - the opposite of competing. It could also be called passive or submissive, because you are putting the other party's wishes before your own.

Accommodating might take the form of selfless generosity or charity, agreeing to another person's request when you would prefer not to, yielding to another's point of view against your better judgment, or resentfully submitting to another's wishes. Even when they are sure they are right, some people don't like taking a stand. Supervisors like this may be uncomfortable with using their power or afraid of losing the friendship or co-operation of their staff. The danger of this approach is that their staff often do not take them or their ideas seriously.

But whenever an issue is less important than the relationship, accommodating behaviour may be called for - for example, when building a relationship is more important than the particular conflict or when your "stake" in the conflict or issue isn't high. When you have a hope of having your wishes met, you may also decide to accommodate as a way of minimising your losses and maintaining a climate of Co-operation with the other party Forcing - resolving conflict through the use of formal authority. Forcing is assertive and unco-operative; in other words, it is aggressive because you pursue your own concerns at the expense of the other person.

This method of managing conflict is based on power. Whatever power seems appropriate - your ability to argue, to pull rank, to use economic sanctions and so on - is used to impose a solution on the otherr party. The usual response to this is resentment, antagonism, hostility and lack of co-operation. Supervisors who continually compete in conflict situations, who look only for a win-lose solution, are often surrounded by "yes men". They are often considered "hard to get on with" and don't know when to admit they are wrong. They find it difficult to build up a good working relationship with people.

When speed and decisiveness are at a premium, as they are in emergencies, it might be quite an appropriate style. When you are in conflict with parties who refuse to co-operate and who are trying to take advantage of you, competitively managing the conflict may be your best option. When safety issues are at stake or a difficult or unpopular decision needs to be made, a competitive stance may be necessary Compromise - a solution of conflict in which each party gives up something of value. Compromising is intermediate, in both assertiveness and co- operativeness.

It involves "splitting the difference" to arrive at a solution acceptable to both parties. This falls on a middle ground between competing and accommodating, where you give up more than in but less than in accommodating. It addresses issues more directly avoiding but doesn't explore them in as much depth as collaboratinng. Compromising can be quick, however, and although leaves neither satisfied, it can be useful in situations where time is running out or when collaboration and/or competition have failed. It can also provide a temporary, short-term solution to a conflict while collaborative discussions continue.

And sometimes, settling for a workable compromise is the best you can do. Collaboration takes time but is particularly useful in situations where both the issue and the relationship are important, and where an outcome which satisfies both parties is desirable. Collaboration is also useful when all parties need to be committed to the solution and when a creative deal or solution is needed What are the differences between win-lose and win-win methods? The orientation of the parties to handling the conflict is quite different between the win-lose and win-win methods.

With win-lose there is a clear "us versus them" approach, while with a win-win orientation, there is an "us together versus the problem" approach. Where the energies of the parties are directed also differs: under win-lose, energies are directed towards total victory or total defeat. With win-win, the atmosphere is one constructive co-operation and a search for outcomes desirable to both "Let's work together to resolve this" is the attitude. Empathy also differs; under win-lose, people see the issue only from their own point of view, rather than appreciating it also from the other's.

The focus is different too, with the emphasis being on reaching a solution under win-lose and on goals, outcomes and longer term issues under win-win. With a win-lose approach, conflicts are often personalised rather than treated objectively and impersonally, as they are with a win-win approach. In win-lose, the parties are conflict-oriented rather than relationship-oriented as they are with win-win, with the immediate disagreement taking priority over the long-term effects of the conflict and how it is resolved.