Conflict is a condition where there is opposition, disagreement and/or antagonism between two or more people. This may be due to lack of communication, differences over certain issues and/or contradiction in ideas, beliefs and thoughts. People experience tensions, cold vibes, power struggle, strife etc when conflicts arise. Conflicts at workplace can hamper the progress of your work and in turn stunts the growth of the organization. Conflicts act as barriers to healthy organizational development. Sometimes, however, how hard we try; we end up with conflicting thoughts with team members. Therefore it is necessary to manage conflicts in a way such that it has minimum impact on our lives.
Unresolved conflicts can be hazardous especially at work places. They can lead to inappropriate behavior such as avoidance, inability to work in teams, verbal assaults, and overall resentment. In worst cases, some of the employees in the organization become so hostile that they eventually have to quit their work and separate from the organization.
So how do you smartly manage conflicts? The biggest word is communication. Communicate your thoughts, ideas and beliefs openly but do not expect everyone to agree with you. Hence, be open to debate, discussion and differences. You must remember that this discussion is for the betterment of the project or the job assigned to you and your team members. Hence, do not get personal and avoid animosity with the person. Another point to remember is to control your anger. Use words like ‘I understand’, ‘I somewhat agree with you’, ‘what you are saying is fine but…,’ and then put forth your point. This will make things better and will lead to a healthy discussion avoiding any scope for conflicts.
Do not try to resolve conflicts over non-personal communication modes like e-mails, answering machine messages, and notes. At times, this can worsen the condition. Communicate in person or at least over the phone.
Listen to what the other person has to say. If you can listen and respond appropriately you will bring peace and solutions to the conflict easily. For example, you have a meeting with you team members and your boss over a new product launch and you have said that winter is the perfect time to launch the product but your colleague does not think so. Give him a chance to speak and politely ask him the reasons of why he or she thinks so and what the alternate strategies are then. If you agree to his/her point accept so humbly. If you do not agree, reason out the things why you do not agree and substantiate with examples. Ask for an opinion from other team members and let the head/boss decide.
Controlling your anger and frustration is the biggest challenge while managing conflicts. Sometimes, it is better to be silent and let some time pass by so that you can look at things more objectively. Managing conflicts in no one means being subservient and agreeing to whatever people around have to say just so that you want to avoid conflicts.
Putting forth your point and what you think is extremely important. Healthy communication is essential. Also, one should learn to keep ones ego aside. Keep no room for any kind of attitude problems. Be humble, intelligent and a great communicator and the rest will fall in place!