“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it” –Anonymous
Conflict is a part of our lives, both personally and professionally. It has to be accepted as such, but some deal with conflict far better than others and ultimately live more peaceful lives as a result.
In a workplace setting, Conflict can arise from a variety of sources such as power struggles, poor communication, or personality differences. All of these factors can present rather complicated challenges and often have multiple sub-factors going on for each party involved. However, as a Leader in your organization, it is essential that you discover methods for diffusing conflict with creative, mutuality-based solutions. Our own personalities play such a big part in the way we approach a conflict; some choose to simply avoid dealing with it. However, no resolution will be made with this tactic. Some will acquiesce if they are not confident in their leadership skills, but giving in also does not resolve the conflict in a mutually fair way. Some leaders will compete and insist that they get their way with no room for the other party to feel gratified. Some will compromise which is far closer to a resolution than any of the above approaches, but both parties have to give plenty to receive only some. Finally, some leaders understand the value of collaboration. This is the best scenario, but also the hardest to achieve effectively. It takes time, understanding, emotional intelligence and perseverance. However the result of collaborating through a conflict is that both parties receive far more in the end while strengthening the relationship. This mutually satisfying resolution is the goal of any conflict and natural leaders will be able to employ this method due to the trust they have built with their team members.
For more information on managing through conflict, please read Managing from the Inside Out by Jim Hornickel. Available at Amazon.com
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