A conflict is proof that something new is going on. And it can lead to something good. Without conflict – no development.
It’s human to mess up. Certainly, conflicts can be destructive, ruin the cooperation and deprive the mood. But equality is good, contradictions are negative and dangerous is a myth. In fact, conflicts are not just evil.
It is through contradictions and dissonances that development takes place. With the right attitude, you can take advantage of its positive power and see the conflict as an opportunity for new knowledge instead of something that steals energy. At that point, the conflict becomes a seed for development for both the people and the business.
What kind of conflict are you facing? If you can identify what it basically means, it will be easier to tackle it. We have grouped the most common conflicts into six categories.
When employees find it hard to let their image of reality come, they end up in a battle about what is right or wrong, good or bad. It is about different interpretations of the same event or conversation, rather than relationship problems. Different reference frameworks are a contributing factor.
Conflict: The conflict can be about how to perform a task, what method to use, or what is right and wrong in a fact discussion.
You can: Focus on goals and results instead of method to signal that there may be multiple paths to the goal, all of which are equal to “right”. If this is not possible, clarify which rules, policies or methods that apply.
Occurs when it is unclear who does what, when delimitations and work distributions are fuzzy and it is unclear what is included in different occupational roles.
Conflict: Lisa gets angry at Kalle because he does not make reconciliation with customers every week that she considers is his task. But Kalle is waiting for the person who believes he is a customer to do it. A conflict of roles leads to general frustration and impairment of efficiency, as tasks are both likely to fall between the chairs and double, by several employees.
Solution: Determine and clarify each other’s duties, responsibilities and powers.
Conflicts of Interest
If the interests or goals of employees are incompatible, the collision is soon a fact, and often leads to a prestigious match. A conflict of interests is ranking conflicts that deal with merit, age and the like.
Conflict: Reorganization and redundancies almost always lead to conflicts of interest. Somebody may be promoted by someone else or the department will break up and suddenly employees become “over” and there will be competition for the services.
Solution: Motivate why the decision was made. Explain the background. It is easier to accept a decision based on facts and factuality. Inserting support measures and demonstrating other options for those affected is important to prevent them from feeling lost.
This is often the hardest kind of conflict to handle because it concerns values deeply rooted within us.
Conflict: It can be human vision, morality, ideology or belief.
Solution: Accept your restriction. Getting the parties to compromise without violating themselves is very difficult. Do not feel unsuccessful if you fail. What you can do, however, is to try and get the parties to respect each other’s ratios and learn to live with them.
Conflict of Conflict
Often behavior is not linked to a particular situation, but would lead to conflict even in other situations with other people.
Conflict: These may include negative attitudes, aggressiveness, harassment, or selfish action.
You can: Talk to the person in charge to try and figure out what’s behind. Perhaps it’s about jealousy, lack of confirmation, or private problems that are left over at work. Also, call in the whole group, unless otherwise preventative to agree on game rules and what behaviors are acceptable.
This occurs when the group needs to relieve pressure as a way to express general dissatisfaction, anger, and frustration. Small controversies are enlarged and dramatized.
Conflict: If the employees have different reference frameworks but assume that everyone has the same starting point, there may be dragged discussions, even though one actually agrees with the matter. Sometimes, however, conflicts can be solved by oneself by saying someone, “How do you really think?” And then surprised: “Well, that’s what you meant!”
Solution: Usually you can ignore everything. But behind chopping about seemingly small details, it can be concealed somewhat more seriously. If you think so, do not dismiss it as a shame, but get down to the real reason.
Step by step: How to handle conflict
In the heat of the war, there will be chaos. This makes it easier if you have a plan to follow. There is no universal solution that suits all conflicts. But there are proven methods for dealing with and managing a conflict step by step.
Step 1 – Inventory
Resemble a conflict hero on an onion. To reach the innermost, one has to scale out the outer layers.
All raised voices do not fall into conflict. Different opinions are natural elements in a workplace. Before you do anything, ask yourself for safety: Is it a conflict and in that case is my task to act? If the answer is yes, decide to figure it out immediately. Nothing gets better – or easier – of waiting.
Get knowledge by listening and observing. How does the conflict arise?
Let each of the employees describe the problem and refer to all different versions. What is the conflict about? Do not get stuck in right or wrong thinking.
Try to distinguish between facts and values. It can be tricky to judge the credibility of what different employees say, but one guideline is: Is it self-perceived or something they heard rumors?
Review your own role in the conflict.
Step 2 – Describe
To get ahead, you have to agree what you disagree with and why. Help to define the problem. Repeat, describe, make the image clear. An aid can be to draw a conflict map of how relationships and contradictions look. Be concrete by giving examples. Try to structure what the main problem is and what are partial problems; the longer a conflict has taken place, the more complex it becomes.
Step 3 – Analyze
A conflict has several elements, so it’s important to analyze each one separately to finally get a full picture.
Case analysis: Review the symptoms, what kind of conflict, what are the causes and effects?
Person analysis: Process the description you made by the people involved in the conflict. Who are the main characters really? Is anyone hiding behind someone else?
Motivation: map the reasons – they are central. If you can fix them, you solve the visible problem. It is also important to understand the extent and nature of the conflict. Are there any hidden motives? Does everyone stand for the perception they convey in the group when confronted with it? What needs are the parties trying to meet? If you can identify these, you might find other ways to accommodate them.
Step 4 – Assess
To know how to help your employees solve the conflict, you must first assess their nature and degree. You can judge how serious the conflict is based on the consequences it has for people and activities. Weigh different dispute resolution solutions: conversation, mediation, compromise, negotiation. Take into account how much time and money it costs.
Step 5 – Decide
Ultimately, you are the one who takes the decision and directs against change. Set the line for problem-solving and decide that from now on the focus is on the solution instead. It is both more constructive and more efficient to devote energy to looking forward. It is also better for the mood. Explain the reactions and consequences of different decision options. Motivate your decision and tell us about your support. Describe the pros and cons of different options. For a change to happen, everyone needs to understand why.
Step 6 – Act
It is a difficult art to not wait too long, but to also not do anything hasty. Make an action plan. Try something else if you’re stuck. Talk about what changes are required for the work to work. Do not forget to follow up to make sure that the solutions are in place and to detect relapse. Conflict work is an ongoing process.