- Conflict is an inevitable part of any organization. Humans are bound to have conflict due to personality, culture, and other differences. But while conflict is inevitable, handling and resolving it makes a difference. The ability to manage conflicts can drive change and growth in your organization. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the different types of conflict resolution so as to choose the right approach.
Types of Conflict Resolution
There are various types of conflict resolution, and they vary in their effectiveness. It’s essential to know about the different types to ensure that you cause a minimal negative impact on employee morale and the organization.
This type of conflict resolution involves one or both parties choosing to avoid the issue. This approach helps diffuse conflict temporarily but is ineffective in resolving it. As a result, there is a risk of suppressing emotions that may accumulate and surface later.
This approach to resolving conflicts involves one party accommodating the demands of the other. It can lead to a quick resolution but can also cause resentment in the long run due to a resulting power imbalance.
This approach involves both parties trying to outdo each other to win the conflict. But unfortunately, they have no regard for the consequences of their actions which can cause long-term damage to the relationship, resulting in a lose-lose outcome for both parties.
4. Conscious Conflict Resolution
This is the best approach, as both parties consciously commit to resolve the conflict. They work together to find a solution that mutually benefits them. Although it could take time and effort, it can create a win-win situation for both parties.
Essential Skills When Handling Conflicts
Conscious Conflict Resolution requires skills to ensure peaceful dialogue and a positive outcome.
Assertiveness is an essential skill that you must possess when dealing with conflicts. It means you can clearly and firmly state your views without aggression. You must express your ideas and feelings about the situation and specify the desired outcome. Properly communicating your feelings and thoughts can lead to faster conflict resolution. However, it also requires that you take ownership of your actions and behaviors toward the other party.
Another important skill a conscious leader must possess when dealing with conflicts is active listening. You must not only hear the other person express their side of the conflict, but you must also listen to what they have to say! The goal is to fully understand their position and feelings about the situation. That way, it will also enlighten your feelings about the conflict.
Managing emotions is one of the most important skills when dealing with conflicts. And that’s when empathy comes in. Managing your emotions and understanding others’ feelings is crucial in managing and resolving disputes. It’s a valuable skill because you want to convey your position while also being able to put yourself in the other’s shoes. How would you feel if you were in a similar situation? It encourages reflection on your part.
Conflict Resolution Through Empathy
As mentioned above, empathy is understanding and sharing others’ feelings during a conflict. It’s a crucial component of conflict resolution, and here are the ways that you can lead with empathy:
- Listen actively – Focus when others speak and express their views or feelings. Do not interrupt or think about how you will respond while they’re talking.
- Ask questions – Asking questions enables the other person to share more about their perspective so you can also grasp their needs. In addition, it helps you get to the root of the conflict.
- Validate their feelings – Let them know that you understand their feelings, even if you might disagree with them.
Conflict Resolution Through Assertiveness
Assertiveness is another crucial component of conscious conflict resolution. You can confidently express yourself while respecting others’ opinions. It’s how you define your boundaries and communicate your needs.
These are the ways to achieve conscious conflict resolution through assertiveness:
- “I” statements – Take ownership of how you feel by using “I” when making a statement instead of using “you” and blaming others.
- Stick to the facts – Do not make assumptions or generalizations. Instead, focus on the specific situation at hand.
- Be open to feedback – Be open to hearing about others’ perspectives and understanding them from their point of view.
Conscious conflict resolution is essential to foster healthy relationships at work or in other aspects of society. Leading with empathy and assertiveness enables you to navigate difficult situations and find creative solutions easily. It also builds stronger relationships, understanding, and mutual respect. Conflict resolution and growth go hand in hand.
1. Surface conflict- sense tension and surface discomfort before it turns into conflict
2. Prepare: clarify internal agenda and intentions
3. Open dialogue: be precise, concise, and objective (facts, not opinions). Listen
4. Focus on the solution
5. Follow up
Conflict resolution is a skill that can be built through practice. The skill to resolve conflict effectively requires the ability to sense tension and the courage to address discomfort and surface tension. It requires the ability to objectively communicate facts and the impact created. Ability to hold multiple perspectives and with empathy, an intention to create a win-win, willingness to take ownership of own part and focus on resolution. In this way, transformational leaders resolve conflict effectively.