Conflict is an aspect of human relationships that will occur every once in a while due to differences in opinion or misunderstanding. In this regard, it is inevitable, and you should know to be prepared to either mediate or negotiate an agreement between the parties. Effective conflict management solutions are, therefore, an important necessity considering some of the benefits, which include increased productivity, strengthening workforce relationships, and risk management. Here are five conflict management solutions you can implement in many aspects of your life.
1. Avoidance or Withdrawing
Avoidance is a conflict management solution that allows one of the parties to retract and avoid the conflict by remaining silent. Although this approach may work in some instances, it is not always guaranteed to resolve the issue at hand. On the one hand, it allows one of the parties to cool off and conduct a meaningful discussion. On the other hand, it may only aggravate the situation leading to the other party getting frustrated.
Teams that embrace this approach may turn out to be unproductive since nobody will be willing to step in and address the issue. If only one party decides to come up with the solution, the other party may decide to agree with them. The conflict may be resolved by doing so, but because the other party’s needs were not addressed, there is a chance of recurrence.
Using accommodation as a part of your conflict management solutions means that you allow one party to accommodate the other’s opinion to resolve the conflict. In this approach, both parties’ views will not be considered, but only one side will meet its demands. Those individuals who constantly have their opinions accommodated will eventually demand their way to be considered in every situation.
If you are the one constantly accommodating the others as a way of resolving conflict, you may be forced to continue holding back on your opinions and suppress your feelings. In instances where it is hard for other parties to state their opinions may be due to workplace gossip or low esteem, this approach may encourage them to air their views and enhance communication towards a resolution.
3. Collaboration and Problem Solving
This is by far the best approach to solving conflicts between parties. Collaboration encourages both parties to cooperate and air out their opinions and grievances as a conflict management solution. Once this is done, and the two parties understand the situation from the other’s point of view, they collaborate to ensure the needs of everyone are met to the best of their ability. While it may not always be possible to achieve this, the parties must strive for collaboration since it allows for proper communication and eliminates misunderstandings. It also helps to have a mediator oversee this process.
4. Compromise and Reconciliation
Compromising is a conflict management solution that allows the two parties to settle on the most acceptable solution that both parties deem to be fair. In this case, none of the parties wins, but each compromises to accommodate the other party. This approach helps each member to feel that they have been considered in the final solution, yet it does not always entirely resolve the underlying conflict.
5. Competition and Forcing
As part of these conflict management solutions, as a party to the conflict, you only pursue what concerns you, even if there is resistance from the other party. In competition, an individual usually maintains their point of view, especially when other methods prove unsuccessful. One of the scenarios where competition or forcing is recommended is when you are being put under pressure or standing against aggression. Forcing may also be advantageous when you need a quick solution to end conflict or intend to demand respect against hostility.
In order to strengthen employee relations and create a conducive work atmosphere that is void of constant conflict, leaders can use and encourage interactive communication for clarity. You should also work on creating policies, rules, and agreements to manage conflicts while practicing effective management. This should help mitigate any conflicts that may arise and establish a more positive and productive work environment. We hope that the conflict management solutions above will help you manage conflicts effectively while also creating strategies to mitigate them in the future.