Abstract This paper will discuss the best practices and the importance of conflict resolution. There will 5 books that will help explain this. These books have a common definition of conflict resolution, just in different terms. The paper examines different strategies to help in conflict resolutions. Also discussed is the cost of not implementing a system for conflict resolution. Best practices include changing the context of conflict, listening actively, acknowledging emotions, finding the hidden meaning, finding out what matters, solving problems creatively and designing a system to prevent and resolve conflict (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2005).
Introduction Conflict is all around, from home to the workplace. In an organization conflict is ever present. Negative or positive results can be the outcome of conflict. It all depends on the practices of the management. These best practices, if managed correctly, can prevent conflict effectively, rationally and creatively. Best practices for conflict resolution, include but not limited to, change the context of conflict, listen actively, acknowledge emotions, find the hidden meaning, find out what matters, solve problems creatively and design a system to prevent and resolve conflict (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2005).
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Conflict, like anything else, has two sides. These two sides are a destructive side and a creative one (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2005). Since conflict is mostly thought of in the negative context, the destructive side is usually what is focused on. In order to make the change to the creative side, these best practices need to come into play. To achieve this transformation a set of techniques can be learned. Unresolved conflict can cost an organization a lot of money. It has been said that putting these practices into play is an organization’s greatest opportunity for cost control (Hasson & Slaikeu, 1998).
These best practices can, in return, reduce turnover, legal fees and stress. The main reason these best practices need to be achieved is to ensure that an organization’s mission can be accomplished. Conflict resolution will build the relationship to make that happen. Discussion Every culture and/or relationship has its own set of words or rules to deal with conflict. The culture one lives in can hold emotions, both negative and positive, in regards to conflict. Such emotions as aggression, dishonesty and fear can be related to conflict. In changing the culture of conflict, one can transform those negative emotions into positive ones.
An organization’s culture should include openness, fairness, trust and honesty. When an organization implements a system of best practices, it provides an environment in which people can voice a concern or dispute without fear of retaliation (Fincher, Lipsky and Seeber, 2003). The inability to communicate openly, honestly, and completely can jeopardize a team’s potential (Flanagan & Runde, 2008). In order to achieve conflict resolution one must listen actively. This concept coincides with the old saying, to truly understand someone; one must walk a mile in the other person’s shoes.
Active listening can lead to mina mule misunderstandings. One must also keep in mind tone and body language in response to listening actively. One must understand and acknowledge the presents of emotions during a confrontation. Every conflict triggers very intense emotions. These can be either negative or positive, but very intense. It is when one understands how to approach and express these emotions can they truly transform conflict into positive problem solving. Everyone reacts differently, emotionally, to conflict. We must not only try to understand and acknowledge our own emotions but the emotions of our opponents.
With anything else, one must understand what causes the conflict, the true hidden meaning. Personal conflicts at work may be well camouflaged as disagreements over legitimate interests, workplace rights, or the appropriate distribution and use of power (Albright & Masters, 2002). To resolve conflict one must peel back these mask and find the hidden message. In finding the root cause of these conflicts will allow people to resolve it. These root causes may include hidden expectations or unresolved conflict from the past. Sometimes in the workplace place, one might combine the issues at hand into one big complaint.
As long as these complaints are combined, it is very difficult to negotiate and fix the problem at hand (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2005). In order to encourage resolution one must separate the components of conflict. Separation of elements in conflict can include positions from interests, people from problems, options from choices and future from past (Cloke & Goldsmith, 2005). In an organization a manger may come across a difficult behavior, something that gets under the skin. Negative behavior can not and should not be rewarded. These individuals use negative power and influences in group decisions.
In order to resolve a conflict with someone who possess these negative behaviors, no rewarding is necessary. Understanding and learning why one act’s the way they do is the key. Resolving conflict must mean solving a problem creatively. One must stop focusing on the problem and focus on the solution. Let by gone’s be by gone’s. Come up with a solution that makes everyone happy. Keep in mind the right solution may not be what was first thought. Skills such as negation and collaboration can be of use. The goal of negotiating is to reach an agreement that will positively affect workplace relations (Albright & Masters, 2002).
Sometimes conflict can not be handled by management alone. This is the very reason that a prevention and resolution plan is needed. There will some barriers to this plan, mainly the employees. Organizations that fail to consult employees in the design and implementation phases of this system may have a system that employees feel is unfair or not effective (Lipsky, Seeber & Fincher, 2003). Having a system in place will help in preventing future common conflicts. Conclusion After all is said and done, it is up the individual to put these practices to use in order to handle conflict effectively.
Sometimes managers may use skills such as coaching and motivating to help develop the individual in conflict resolution. By creating an environment where both parties are open to exploring and addressing the conflict, resolution can be found. The best practices and approach to conflict resolution is not to suppress it but create an organizational environment that understands conflict, knows how to address it, and mutually resolve it (Albright & Masters, 2002). References Albright, R. R. , & Masters, M. F. (2002). The Complete Guide to Conflict Resolution in the Workplace.
New York, NY. AMACOM. Cloke, K. , & Goldsmith, J. (2005). Resolving Conflict at work: Eight Strategies for Everyone on the Job. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass Flanagan, T. A. , & Runde, C. E. (2008). Building Conflict Competent Teams. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass. Fincher, R. D. , Lipsky, D. B. , & Seeber, R. L. (2003) Emerging Systems for Managing Workplace Conflict. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass. Hasson, R. H. , & Slaikeu, K. A. (1998). Controlling the Costs of Conflict: How to design a system for your organization. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass.