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Conflict Management Strategies

Develop a Conflict Perspective and Understanding

Effective conflict management strategies can help you turn conflict into positive communication within your business. Understand what is conflict management, develop an effective conflict perspective, and use common strategies to manage workplace conflict.

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Conflict management strategies are important for all businesses.

Small business owners need to understand that unresolved workplace conflict can have a negative effect on the business.

And then, they need to act on that understanding.

You need to first understand 'What is a conflict?' and then understand 'What is conflict management?' before you can develop specific strategies for managing the issues or conflict.

For many businesses, the role of human resources is to help coach or mentor those involved in conflict or help mediate workplace conflict.

What is a Conflict? What is Conflict Management?

Conflict is a fact of life, not only in the workplace but in personal life. Conflict often happens between people of differing opinions or as a result of different objectives.

Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing; it can help initiate change in organizations and in people; and it can lead to personal and professional growth. It is important to have an understanding of that conflict perspective.

Managing conflict through effective conflict management strategies and conflict resolution strategies will maximize the positive and minimize the negative aspects of conflict.

A Conflict Perspective

In many cases, effective conflict resolution strategies and skills can make the difference between positive and negative outcomes. If conflict is not managed and if it continues to grow, the work environment may grow hostile or fractured, and non-productive.

Interestingly, while conflict can have a significant, negative impact on your business, there is little training for small business owners or managers to learn to manage conflict. Build your  own  conflict  management strategies and use them to minimize the negative impact of conflict in your business.

The good news is that by resolving conflict successfully, you can solve many of the problems that the conflict has brought to the surface, as well as getting benefits that you might not at first expect (in some cases, relationships can be strengthened.

Through compromise, a better outcome for the business can be reached; workplace conflict can raise issues that have been underground and unattended for a while; better understanding of the issues will be developed; provide support in managing change business and more).

Take a positive approach to conflict. Focus on the issues, not on the people. Be calm and respectful to all sides; actively listen to what the participants have to say.

What is Conflict? Conflict arises from disagreements and misunderstandings about opinions and points of view.

What is Conflict? Why Does It Occur ?

It Occurs When:

  • Values are overlooked: people are typically passionate about their values. Conflict can arise when an individual feels that their individual values (for example, truth and honesty) are being ignored or trampled. It can also arise when an individual views the business' value statement as being ignored or contravened.

  • Emotions, which can be tied to totally unrelated events, come bubbling to the surface. People are often led by emotion, which is very powerful, rather than be reason. Conflict can arise when an individual feels that their emotions are being belittled or overlooked.

  • Needs are ignored. For example, needs for safety, shelter, food.

  • Individuals develop a differing view of reality; that is, when perceptions differ.

  • There is an abuse of power. For example, when a co-worker behaves like a supervisor, resentment and conflict may arise.

In some businesses, conflict is allowed to go unresolved and un-managed. If the work environment is hostile or unpleasant, productivity can be negatively impacted and it can be difficult to retain employees in this type of workplace.

The most effective conflict management strategies engage the people involved and teach them how to resolve the conflict amongst themselves.

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Hello. I am a professor teaching Human Resources Management. You have an excellent page on writing business value statements entitled your "Value Statement: Develop a Definition of Values in Your Business". I would like to use this page (giving full credit) to teach my students how to write good business value statements for the HR Strategic Plan they are required to prepare. Thank you. Richard C. Brocato, Ph.D. Professor of Management, Maryland, USA

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