Using Conflict Resolution Styles Effectively to Resolve Issues at Work


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Everyone has a different personality which gives rise to different ideas and opinions. With these differences, it sometimes becomes inevitable to avoid conflicts. Conflicts can happen in every workplace and have an impact on employee morale, productivity, and the overall profitability of a business. These problems might be over scheduling projects, misinterpretations of job responsibilities, or personality conflicts. Therefore, it is important to resolve these conflicts in order to ascertain proper functioning of an organization. 

However, sometimes these conflicts and differences can act as a catalyst towards growth and change. When approached in a constructive manner, conflicts can be an opportunity for strengthening relationships, improving conversations, enhancing creativity and finding innovative solutions to problems. The key to this is understanding and implementing effective conflict resolution styles. 

The capacity of an individual to first control and comprehend stress while being attentive and composed is a prerequisite for successfully resolving any conflict. There are five main conflict resolution styles, each having its own pros and cons. Let’s have a better understanding of them: 

  1. Competing: This approach is defined by a focus on one’s own interests and a willingness to use power and authority to achieve one’s goals. When speedy decision-making is required and a firm approach is required, this style works well. However, it might eventually cause relationships to suffer and foster a “us versus them” mentality. 
  2. Collaborating: Working together to create a mutually beneficial solution while actively striving to comprehend the other person’s point of view is the collaborative style to resolve conflicts. When both sides stand to gain from the conclusion and when there is a high degree of trust and collaboration, this technique is effective. But it can take a while, and it might not always lead to conflict resolution.
  3. Compromising: Both parties must give up something in this negotiation approach in order to reach a resolution. This style works best when there is a shared desire among the parties in finding a solution and when there is a shortage of time. However, if both partners feel that they have given up too much, it can also result in a feeling of discontent.
  4. Avoiding – In this approach, the issue is either completely avoided or postponed. When the conflict is mild and avoiding it won’t harm anyone, this approach works well. It may, however, also result in the disagreement escalating that can become harder to resolve in the future.
  5. Accommodating: Putting the wants of the other people before one’s own requires being accommodating. When the issue at hand is trivial and the other person’s relationship matters more than the resolution of the conflict, this communication method works well. However, it can also result in a sense of being taken advantage of, which over time can harm one’s self-esteem.

But not all of these styles can be applied to every situation. Some conflict resolution styles help better in a particular situation while not being applicable enough in others. Therefore , it is important to understand which style to apply in what situation so as to resolve a conflict effectively. In addition, it is also important to be aware of one’s own conflict resolution style and to understand how it may impact the outcome of a conflict.

To resolve conflicts effectively, it is important to approach them with a positive attitude and to focus on finding a solution that works for everyone involved. This means being open to compromise and being willing to listen to the other person’s perspective. It also means being respectful and avoiding personal attacks, even when emotions are running high.

In addition to these general principles, there are several strategies that can be used to resolve conflicts effectively, including:

  1. Active Listening: Active listening skills are meant to assist you hear and comprehend what someone else is saying as well as to aid the speaker in making a clear point. Conflicts can be handled more successfully when both facts and feelings are given equal attention. Active listening also lowers tension and defensiveness while resolving conflicts. 
  2. Empathy: Empathy enables you to truly hear the other person’s viewpoint and feelings in order to comprehend their perspective. When you permit the spontaneous exchange of ideas, you serve as a mirror for both the other person and yourself. This provides a chance for the conflict to defuse rather than escalating. Because in order to resolve any conflict it is first important to understand the point of view of everyone involved. 
  3. Brainstorming: This involves generating a large number of ideas and solutions in a short period of time. Brainstorming can be an effective way to find creative solutions and to avoid conflicts while considering the best possible outcomes for any situation as it is important to explore all of your options when brainstorming, regardless of how you feel about them.

Conflicts are bound to happen with anyone who interacts with different people on a regular basis. Differences in ideas and opinions may give rise to conflicting situations in a workplace. In order to maintain an effective functioning of any organization, it is important to resolve these conflicts. Understanding the nature of a conflict in order to implement the most effective resolution style is important because not every style is suitable for every situation. For instance, some situations like client retention require collaboration of ideas from two employees instead of competition in order to be more effective for the overall functioning of the organization. Similarly, it is important to find the most suitable conflict resolution style depending on the situation and people involved. 

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