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Managing Conflict

Because disagreements happen every day, we often feel the effects of conflict in our daily lives. At work, conflicts exist because an individual’s values and opinions are different from those of other people around him.

A leader is often needed to overcome the emotions involved in a conflict. Leaders understand that issues affecting one member usually have an impact on other members as well. A leader who knows how to manage conflict effectively will be able to come up with a more productive team and more satisfied team members, who feel welcome to communicate openly, take risks and exchange ideas.

There are many ways a leader can deal with conflict. They are through:

  • Avoidance
  • Accommodation
  • Compromise
  • Competition
  • Collaboration

Among the different ways to deal with conflict, the most effective method is collaboration.

Situation

In our workplace, conflicts are a daily occurrence. These are brought about usually by misunderstanding or miscommunication. It is often the case that team members get into conflicts due to their different perspective about things and because of the cultural divide between different ethnic groups. However, all these differences are swept aside by our leader who raises the issues and makes a tremendous effort to reach compromises between two sides which often lead into collaboration.

Lesson learned:

It sometimes takes a statesman leader to handle conflicts between two groups efficiently and effectively. Without this characteristic, conflicts could degenerate into full-blown war between opposing parties which could have a very negative impact on our performance as a team.

Reference:

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Hughes, R., Curphy, G. & Ginnet, R. (2006): Leadership. Enhancing the lesson of Expericence. New York: Irwin

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