Author Topic: Conflict Resolution  (Read 455 times)


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Conflict Resolution
« on: April 16, 2017, 05:27:13 PM »
Conflict is an inevitable part of work. We've all seen situations where people with different goals and needs have clashed, and we've all witnessed the often intense personal animosity that can result.

The fact that conflict exists, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. When you resolve it effectively, you can also eliminate many of the hidden problems that it brought to the surface.

There are other benefits that you might not expect, such as:

Increased understanding. Going through the process of resolving conflict expands people's awareness, and gives them an insight into how they can achieve their goals without undermining others.
Better group cohesion. When you resolve conflict effectively, team members can develop stronger mutual respect, and a renewed faith in their ability to work together.
Improved self-knowledge. Conflict pushes individuals to examine their goals and expectations closely, helping them to understand the things that are most important to them, sharpening their focus, and enhancing their effectiveness.
But conflict can also be damaging. If you don't handle it effectively, it can quickly turn into personal dislike, teamwork can break down, and talent may be wasted as people disengage from their work and leave.

If you want to keep your team members working effectively, despite coming into conflict with one another, you need to stop this downward spiral as soon as you can. To do this, it helps to understand one of the key processes for effective conflict resolution: the Interest-Based Relational approach.

The Interest-Based Relational Approach

When conflict arises, it's easy for people to get entrenched in their positions and for tempers to flare, voices to rise, and body language to become defensive or aggressive Add to My Personal Learning Plan. You can avoid all of this by using the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach.

Roger Fisher and William Ury developed the IBR approach and published it in their 1981 book, "Getting to Yes." They argue that you should resolve conflicts by separating people and their emotions from the problem. Their approach also focuses on building mutual respect and understanding, and it encourages you to resolve conflict in a united, cooperative way.

The approach is based on the idea that your role as a manager is not simply to resolve conflict but to ensure that team members feel respected and understood, and that you appreciate their differences. In essence, it helps you to manage conflict in a civil and "grown up" way.

During the process, your focus should be on behaving courteously and consensually, and on insisting that others do the same. Your priority is to help each side develop an understanding of the other's position, and to encourage both to reach a consensus ? even if that means agreeing to disagree.
To use the IBR approach effectively, everyone involved should listen actively Add to My Personal Learning Plan and empathetically Add to My Personal Learning Plan, have a good understanding of body language Add to My Personal Learning Plan, be emotionally intelligent Add to My Personal Learning Plan, and understand how to employ different anger management Add to My Personal Learning Plan techniques. In particular, you and the conflicting parties need to follow these six steps:

Make sure that good relationships are a priority. Treat the other person with respect. Do your best to be courteous, and to discuss matters constructively.
Separate people from problems. Recognize that, in many cases, the other person is not "being difficult" ? real and valid differences can lie behind conflicting positions. By separating the problem from the person, you can discuss issues without damaging relationships.
Listen carefully to different interests. You'll get a better grasp of why people have adopted their position if you try to understand their point of view.
Listen first, talk second. You should listen to what the other person is saying before defending your own position. They might say something that changes your mind.
Set out the "facts." Decide on the observable facts that might impact your decision, together.
Explore options together. Be open to the idea that a third position may exist, and that you might reach it jointly.
You can often prevent contentious discussions from turning bad by following these guidelines, and they can help you avoid the antagonism and dislike that can cause conflict to spiral out of control.

However, bear in mind that the IBR approach may not be appropriate for all situations. For example, you may not be able to resolve differences in such a consensual, collaborative way if your organization is in a crisis. On these occasions, you may have to "pull rank" as a leader and make quick decisions about disputes and conflicts.