What is a conflict:
The dictionary definition of word conflict is to come in collision of disagreement, be in an opposition or be contradictory with some idea, individual, thought or view. Dissecting the information and interpreting the organization environment a conflict can be defined as incompatibility in communication, thought, vision and personalities between two individuals, an individual and a group and between two groups. These incompatibilities between individual or group might be due to thought of insecurity, behavioral preferences, individual goals and superior indifferent attitudes.
Why conflict management is important:
The growing complexity of organizations, use of teams and group decision making, and globalization on one hand contributed immensely to cross border trade but on the other hand gave rise to lot of internal conflicts between teams and individuals. Workplace conflicts in between the team, individuals, departments and groups are something that need to addressed with utmost care as workplace conflicts can affect employees morale, performance and competence which in turn affect organization's revenue, brand and even basic organization design.
Every manager or a leader may have to encounter instances where he may have to face internal or cross functional conflicts and where he may be entrusted with an responsibilities of managing the conflict or minimizing it. The complex the organization design, larger the organization and bigger the project their is more possibility of frequent conflicts among various individuals and teams.
How to manage workplace conflicts:
Whenever a manager or a leader is entrusted with a task of managing a project, a task or an department, an organization expects him to deliver the desired output withindefined resources and whenever any of the resource is depleting or wearing out it is managers duty to re energize it or replace it. For every task to be carried out, human capital is of utmost priority and it is managers responsibility to see and inspect whether he is capable of doing things or not and whether he is comfortable of working with others or not.
Whenever a manager sense that an individual or group of individuals is not comfortable with other individuals, idea, group of individual and even the supervisor than he should make sure to solve the issue or conflict before it became out of control.
Though there are no hard and fast rules to manage workplace conflicts but a project manager or a leader can adapt some of the tips in order to minimize it:
- Workplace conflicts are result of lack of communication and as a manager you should become source of communication flow between the individuals or groups
- Do not jump to conclusions and always allow individuals to speak up their mind by making them comfortable
- Make individuals comfortable and counsel them and later communicate the positivity of the other individual
- Bring in an individual who can break the ice between the two parties
- Help individuals in removing their fears by assuring help
- Do not bash any of the individuals while in meeting or in group
- Be an authoritative and entertain your clout and represent yourself as a solution expert
- Do not jump for compromise and strive for win win agreement
- If possible give two individuals or team a separate space under watchful eye
- Do not exercise iron hand or involve higher management or superiors until the need arise