Conflict Management: What It Is and How to Apply

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Chess and Entrepreneurship - LUZ Entrepreneurial Generation
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When we bring together two or more people in the same environment, conflicts may arise for a variety of reasons, whether by divergence of opinions, behavior, values, or others.

Now imagine joining a bunch of different people in the work environment. The chances of conflicts multiply considerably. Although everyone pursues the same end goal, each person can think of a different way to achieve it, and that is where conflicts can gain ground.

In this case, the Human Resources department needs to apply conflict management techniques in order to prevent the smooth running of the organization from being compromised due to interpersonal discussions and communication failures. Let's see how everything works.

What is Conflict Management

First, let's understand what "conflicts" are from the organizational point of view. Derived from Latin conflictus, which means discussion, struggle or combat, the word refers to every time a person or group of people disagrees with others and tries to impose their point of view as the correct one. Generally, conflict happens when there are two sides with incompatible ideas, that is, when one can be annulled by the other, by opposition.

Conflict management is therefore the set of actions or strategies that an individual, group or company takes in order to manage these opposing ideas and calm the spirits of the people who defend each side.

This management needs to analyze the causes, processes and arguments of each of the stakeholders, in order to balance interests and keep the team functioning and coherent.

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Positive and negative aspects of conflicts

Conflicts do not always have to be harmful to a group or organization. On the contrary, often opposition and discussion of ideas is what drives the evolution and improvement of situations, through the analysis and sum of several different points of view.

A negative view of the conflict boils down to trying to avoid it at all costs, afraid of what the interpersonal strikes may provoke in the team, psychologically speaking. Thus, the discussion ends without a thorough examination of the situation, missing the opportunity to draw up a convergent and revolutionary plan.

A positive view, however, points out that conflicts, as well as natural ones, are necessary for growth and allow us to learn from each other, improving personally and professionally.

To find out what kind of conflicts you are dealing with, it is interesting that you evaluate each case and argument individually.

Main reactions in case of conflict

In order to assess the validity and nature of each conflict in order to combat those that are nothing but hassles to the company, but to foster growth through those who drive discussions, know that there are four common types of reactions:

  • Divergent: it is when two people do not agree, but instead of trying to find a middle ground, one tries to impose their opinion and their version of the facts on the other. Since there is no solution, there is no evolution, just a waste of time.
  • Conflicting: it is similar to the previous case, however, one of the people is the leader of the team and it imposes its opinion on the others. As a matter of hierarchy, the other side needs to abide by the decision, but the work will be produced amid the dissatisfaction of those involved who have had their opinions disregarded.
  • Competitor: it is when, within the conflicting reaction above, a team member, even if he has to accept the imposition suffered by the boss, does not agree with the decision and keeps mulling possibilities of harming his leader during the project or in future opportunities.
    If it takes any action in this direction, it can lead to some damage to the project and to the organization as a whole. In addition, depending on your attitude, it may be difficult to identify the person responsible, creating a malaise throughout the team and making it impossible for the employee to be repositioned to avoid conflicts later on.
  • Convergent: unlike the previous ones, it is when, identifying incompatible opinions, the members of a team try to understand the different ideas and find the best option for the good progress of the project. Consensus benefits the outcome of the venture.approaches-to-conflict management

5 Practical Approaches to Your Business

  1. Promote communication: create an environment of trust and transparency that enables open and effective communication with the entire team. Keep communication channels available so that everyone has access to managers and colleagues.
  2. Identify the cause of the conflict: if open communication is not able to avoid conflict, analyze each side impartially in order to identify the objections and truths of each. Thus, you can understand all the reasons for the conflict more clearly. By understanding the whys, you will be able to find a solution.
  3. Always speak as a company and not as an individual: Show the team that you will only solve the impasse together. Do not impose a solution, or choose one side without arguing with everyone. But show that the project depends on each and every one, and that you need to act together for the common good and company. In your conversation, always use the person "we" in speaking, so that people realize the effort depends on everyone, including you.
  4. Look for the win-win: a conflict is only resolved without resentment when all sides are satisfied, in the same way. Therefore, we must seek a solution that benefits all, so that the conflict does not repeat itself. This is not simple. You will need to identify a common interest and focus on it.
  5. Determine a deadline for resolving the conflict: after all, it is a company, which depends on results and objectivity. You can not waste time and damage the progress of projects because of personal differences, so allow dialogue, know all the points, but still establish a deadline for the resolution of everything.

Essential worksheets for team management

Mapping Skills: This worksheet is for you to identify which competencies are required for each of your company functions, departments and positions. It allows you to assess the importance of each position, which can help you resolve the conflict.

Performance evaluation: This is a worksheet that allows you to be fair in examining the work of each employee. It provides concrete data that demonstrate the productivity of each employee.

Plan for jobs and wages: This worksheet allows you to register all the positions and salaries of each employee. That way, you are able to make an individual assessment of each employee's performance and growth expectancy.

Organizational Climate Survey: This worksheet is for you to understand how the work environment in your company is. This is a qualitative analysis, with graphs of the results.

Work schedule: With this worksheet, you can create scales of work automatically, just register shifts and employees and you will have a dashboards simplified and intuitive with all the results.

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