Conflicts are inevitable between people at any time but the ones at work place can have a negative effect on ones performance and health. Handling work conflict can take its toll on most of us. There are some better ways to cope up with such negative effects or conflicts themselves. Here we are trying to outline the ways and means of not only dealing with conflicts but also approaches to avoid them as much as possible.
Mr. H thinks that working under his boss is a continuous stress. He is not in a small company but employed in a corporate sector. G feels that one of his peers flies off the handle at the slightest thing and even trying to be a peacemaker is not helping to avoid the conflict. This is the plight of many working people who face work conflict not only with their bosses but also with their colleagues.
Managing the conflict or differences is best done by understanding the conflict style because conflict can also be healthy and creative. The best thing is to handle it constructively.
Many people automatically assume that conflict is related to lower group and organizational performance. The levels of conflict can be either too high or too low. Either extreme hinders performance. An optimal level is one at which there is enough conflict to prevent stagnation stimulate creativity allow tensions to be released and initiate the seeds for change, yet not so much as to be disruptive or to deter coordination of activities.
Inadequate levels of conflicts can hinder the effectiveness of a group or an organization, resulting in reduced satisfaction of group members, increased absence and turnover rates, and eventually lower productivity. However, when conflict is at an optimal level, complacency and apathy should be minimized, motivations should be enhanced through the creation of a challenging and questioning environment with a vitality that makes work interesting, and there should be the amount of turnover needed to rid the organization of misfits and poor performers.
What advice can we give managers faced with excessive conflict and the need to reduce it? Don’t assume there is one conflict-handling intention that will always be best. You should select an intention appropriate for the situation. The following provides some guidelines:
Use competition when quick decisive action is vital (in emergencies); on important issues where unpopular actions need implementing (in cost cutting, enforcing unpopular rules, disciplines); on issues vital to the organization’s welfare when you know you are right; and against people who take advantage of non-competitive behavior.
Use collaboration to find an integrative solution when the both sets of concerns are too important to be compromised; when your objectives is to learn; to merge insights from people with different perspective; to gain commitment by incorporating concerns into a consensus and to work through feelings that have interfered with a relationship.
Use avoidance when an issue is trivial or more important issues are pressing; when you perceive no chance of satisfying your concerns; when potential disruption out weighs the benefits of resolution; to let people cool down and regain perspective; when gathering information supersedes immediate decision; when others can resolve the conflict more effectively and when issues seem tangential or symptomatic of other issues.
Use accommodation when you find you’re wrong and to allow a better position to be heard, to learn and to show your reasonableness; when issues are more important to others that to yourself and to satisfy others and maintain cooperation; to build social credits for later issues to minimize losses when you are outmatched and losing; when harmony and stability are especially important and to allow employees to develop by learning from mistakes.
Use compromise when goals are important but not worth the effort of potential disruption of more assertive approaches; when opponents with equal power are committed to mutually exclusive goals, to achieve temporary settlements to complex issues; to arrive at expedient solutions under time pressure and as a backup when collaboration or competition is unsuccessful.
Negotiation was shown to be an ongoing activity in groups and organizations. Distributive bargaining can resolve disputes but it often negatively affects one or more negotiators’ satisfaction because it is focused on the short term and because it is confrontational. Integrative bargaining in contrast tends to provide outcomes that satisfy all parties and that build lasting relationships.