A workplace is comprised of individuals who all have unique ideas, and beliefs, which may be different from those of their coworkers. Sometimes, these differences result in conflicts at the workplace. Conflicts are quite common in any workplace. It may arise among different teams or among different employees. Whenever it does, it is important to have a quick solution to it. Otherwise, operations at the place of work may stagnate. Besides stagnation of company activities, it can also lower employee morale. The methods of managing conflict in the workplace are various and complex. Choosing the right ones can sometimes be the challenge.

The result of conflict is usually that the company becomes a less attractive place to work at. This can affect the ability of management to attract top talent. The article is designed to discuss the various methods that can be used to manage any conflicts that arise at a workplace.

1. Forcing

Forcing is one of the most effective answers for what are the methods for managing conflict. This is when a company or individual firmly pursues their interests despite any resistance. This may entail pushing a certain viewpoint at the expense of others.

  • This approach may be necessary when other less forceful methods do not work or when you need to stand up for your rights.
  • One of the benefits of forcing when wondering what are the methods for managing conflict is that it can provide a quick resolution to problems.
  • It can also help to increase self-esteem and draw respect from other parties.

2. Collaborating

What are the methods for managing conflict? This one is also known as problem-solving. It involves an attempt by both parties to find a win-win solution. This method sees conflict as an opportunity to find a mutually beneficial solution to conflicts. It involves finding the underlying causes of the conflict and coming up with solutions.

  • The use of collaboration in what are the methods for managing conflict may be necessary when the commitment of other parties is necessary.
  • It may also be important when you want to share responsibility for any situation.
  • The main benefit of this method is that it allows a resolution of the problem.

3. Compromising

A compromise is achieved when both parties find an acceptable solution although it may not satisfy all their demands. A compromise may be used for what are the methods for managing conflict when a temporary settlement on a complex issue is needed.

  • It can be suitable as a first step, especially in a situation when both parties do not know each other well.
  • This method is quite beneficial when the time is a factor. It can provide a resolution that allows other activities within the organization to proceed flawlessly.

4. Withdrawing

This method is also known as avoiding. It is when a person refuses to pursue his/her own concerns or those of the opponent. He or she refuses to address the conflict or withdraws.

  • Sometimes avoidance may be necessary when an issue is trivial or not worth it.

What Is Conflict Management?

These are the methods for managing conflict in the workplace. However, on the long term, you need to focus on avoiding, instead of just solving it. Conflict management is the ability to identify and handle conflicts in a sensible manner at a workplace. Since conflicts are a natural part of the workplace, it is important to have someone in the workplace who understands conflicts and how they are resolved. It is more so important in the modern workplace than ever due to an increasingly competitive business environment.

Everyone wants to prove their value to the workplace, and it can lead to disputes. Such disputes can affect the competitiveness of an organization.

Why Is Conflict Management Important?

A poorly managed conflict can often lead to serious friction between those involved. The result is that their working relationship becomes damaged. By learning how conflicts are resolved, professionally, employees are able to strengthen their relationships. It ensures that they can work harmoniously in the workplace, which also raises the productivity of the employee.

  • Instead of insults and endless fights, the employees learn how to collaborate for the benefit of the company.
  • The other benefit is that it reduces the direct cost of managing a conflict. For instance, the issue may escalate to a court case, which can cost money to resolve.

How much is Usually Spent on Conflict?

The major cost of any conflict comes from the legal fees paid when conflicts escalate into a courtroom or a lawyer’s office. The fees are usually measurable by checking the financial statements of a company. In the 80’s a typical wrongful termination case would have cost about $100,000. Since then, the cost has gone up quite a lot. Today, mounting a defense could cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not to mention any settlement fees that may be agreed upon at the end of the litigation. Any theft and sabotage resulting from workplace conflict are also quite easy to calculate. However, there has to be proof that theft resulted from a conflict at the workplace.

Other costs of conflict are more indirect and hard to quantify. An example of this is the time wasted in resolving conflicts. Today, it is estimated that HR executives spend 20% of their working hours in litigation. The data also shows that a typical manager can spend up to 30% of their time resolving conflicts. Thus, the cost per conflict for an organization can be quite high. By spending just a bit on conflict management, the company can save quite a lot of money and time.

To the Hand Shakes

Conflicts are a natural result of people from different backgrounds being located in one place. Thus, since it cannot be avoided, it is important to have a plan on how to manage it. Take time to consider how you manage your personal emotions. You can also hold training seminars on how to handle conflicts in the workplace.

It is also important that every opportunity is viewed as an opportunity to grow. Thus, workers must reflect and make an adjustment when a conflict occurs. Additionally, policy initiative should be initiated at the top-level after a conflict. That way, an organization will emerge much stronger than it was before the conflict.

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