Conflict Management

Conflict Management
    Subrata Kumar Bandyopadhyay
    Retd. CGM And Certified Trainer

    Conflict- Combat is optional, collaboration & clarity is the answer

    Conflict is disagreement/ argument on various ideas /opinions / thoughts /wishes amongst various entities including self and its manifestation thereof, visible or invisible, leading to an antagonistic state of mind and extends anywhere and everywhere, be it home/social/business/work place etc.

    Our inner conflict, arising out of changing thoughts/emotions/desires/wishes, often translates to serious emotional challenges. Emotional Intelligence Training greatly helps to deal with the challenges thus arisen. Most of the time incompatible choices & actions among individuals lead to situation of conflict.

    Five main causes of conflicts are information conflicts, values conflicts, interest conflicts, relationship conflicts, relationship conflicts and structural conflicts as listed below:

    Information Conflicts: Information conflicts arise when people in group are having different or lack of information, misinformation, differing on data relevancy or differing on interpretations.

    Value Conflicts: Perceived or often incompatible belief systems & values of People having different ways of life, ideology, world view and their attempt to impose on each other.

    Interest Conflict: Interest conflicts are caused by competition over perceived or actual incompatible needs. Such conflicts may occur over issues of money, resources, or time. Placing priority on personal / family needs over that of others, is an example of interest conflict.

    Relational Conflicts: Relationship conflicts occur when there are misperceptions, strong negative emotions, or poor communication. Selfishness, criticism, resentment, high expectations, power n control are some of elements of this conflict.

    Structural Conflicts: Limited resources or opportunity as well as organization structures often promote conflict of this type.

    Five Main Causes of Conflicts
    Types of conflicts involving person, persons, team are broadly categorised as under:

    Intrapersonal Conflict: This type of conflict arises within individual due to competing beliefs, desires, values and can lead to feelings of anxiety, self doubt, procrastination, frustration, difficulty in decision making etc.

    Interpersonal Conflict: It occurs due to factors like differences in opinions, values, beliefs, communication styles and competition for resources & power, personality clashes etc.

    Intragroup Conflict: It occurs due to factors like differences in opinions, priorities, personality clashes and takes form of verbal arguments, resistance to change, lack of cooperation etc.

    Intergroup conflict: It is conflict between two or more groups having serious differences in opinions, goals, values, status, social identity etc and manifest in many ways like verbal & physical aggression, discrimination, prejudice.

    Conflicts is everywhere, Work place is no exception. Conflicts at work can range from minor disagreements/ arguments to outright hostility.  There are times when conflict is constructive and stimulates discussions and innovative ideas, but there are also times when conflict continues to intensify and spirals out of control leading to an antagonistic environment.

    Work place conflicts are mainly classified as follows:

    Task Based Conflict: Arising out of lack of coordination & disagreements in an interdependent activity or project.

    Leadership Conflict: Reactions or responses of individuals to Different leadership styles often lead to conflict- some leaders bold & charismatic, some are strict & strict to rules, some are warm & inviting.

    Work Style Conflicts: Individuals have their preferred style to do certain task – some prefer in group, some prefer alone, some requires extra guidance, some does not like extra input etc

    Personality Based Conflicts:
    we are unique and differ in personalities like Cholaric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Melancholy and personify in carry out any activity or assignment.

    Discrimination: Bullying, harassment, Discrimination in work place due to age, race, ethnicity, gender, power struggles has serious conseqen ces on moral & productivity of employee.

    Creative Idea Conflict: Conflict also generates on brainstorming ideas due to many voices, inputs of participants but for a better &improved solution collectively.

    Easy flow of communication, Culture of Respect, Understanding each other, Clarity of roles & responsibilities, Diversity & inclusion etc are some essential factors to contain the conflict in work place. Some of popular training for employees & executives like Emotional Intelligence training, Team building training, Diversity & Inclusion training greatly helps in positive direction.

    Lastly, How Conflicts impact our life? Personal conflicts are simply part of being human. A conflict can be destructive or constructive as well. A destructive conflict leads to negative outcomes creating feelings of frustration and antagonism and loss of relationship. In a constructive Conflict, disagreements can be resolved with a positive outcomes with better understanding and relationship.

    Conflict can be a healthy part of our personal & professional relationship. A healthy conflict can also encourage the mutual understanding of differences, values, opinions and cultures. Healthy conflict in work place allows for more creativity, stronger ideas & more engaged employees and can be valuable to organisation’s growth.

    Regardless of the cause of conflict, an experienced mediator can help parties shift their focus from fighting to resolution. Since they are necessarily unbiased, neutrals create an environment where parties can trust the process and work toward a solution.

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