You cannot see a bright day unless you survive the night. Similarly, you cannot experience positive unless you have experienced an adverse. Conflict is the inevitable situation of human life, and we face it every day in our professional and personal life. Conflict is an undesirable situation, and No one likes it. However, if we observe another side, we will find an origin of a growth as long as we put a conflict in a right perspective. Every legacy started with a conflict because someone channelized their anger or passion in a right direction.
Word “Conflict” originated from two Latin words “Con” and “Fligere”. Con means together in Latin and Fligere means Strike. People see the dispute is a negative emotion. However, the actual meaning of conflict is many thoughts strike together, and we see a situation from a different pair of eyes if we keep an open mind to accept a scenario. However, in reality, we think I am in the best condition to decide because I understand everything. It spoils the whole conversation because now we are not in a condition to keep an open mind to listen to another person. If all parties involved in the conversation face a similar issue, then the whole situation is a total mess.
Source of conflict
The difference in culture, values, experience, background, age, gender, and goals. Aggressive approach, the amount of influence in decision making, power in the organization chart, lack of communication lead to conflict.
How could one approach a conflict in a right way?
There are multiple ways one can manage conflicts such as Forcing, Collaborating, Compromising, Withdrawing and accommodating. Everyone has a different way to handle conflict. However, each situation is a different one, and we have to understand which method is applicable in the current scenario. When we sign a contract with the vendor, we need to be collaborative. We are initiating a long-term relationship and need to make the seller happy while making sure we are meeting our requirement checklist. Though collaborative style develops a win-win situation, it is not an effective style in every scenario. It is the most practical method when you want to maintain long term relationship with another party. Personal issues are vital and delicate. We cannot be pushy. Thus, one could manage these circumstances with a compromising approach. Sometimes we could collaborate or withdraw to solving interpersonal situations. Multiple factors (situation, mindset, background, culture and the people involved) influence conflict management style. As a matter of fact, each situation is a different situation, and we need to adapt appropriate style to manage it.
As a human being emotions are an inevitable part of our life, and we cannot separate them from any situation. Emotions play a huge role in conflict management. If we understand our emotions whether we are frustrated, disturbed or aggravated; it will help us to keep our eyes and mind open. We think emotionally and just follow our feelings. As a result of this, we complicate simple scenario. On the other hand, if we use our emotions intelligently, it helps not only to maintain an open mind but also think from other’s perspective.
Conflict to a manager/supervisor/team leader
One could give an opportunity to both parties to present their views. Focus on current facts and do not attach any meaning to any situation. Create common ground to link each decision with organization objectives. Set up a framework and establish a protocol to manage conflicts in the future. Maintain a long-term relationship and always think what is best for an organization.
Conflict to an individual contributor or team member
One could show openness and flexibility to understand other side’s point of view. Purpose behind in conflict is to make product or service better so do not attach personal agenda to your opinions. Use humor sometimes to relax tension between both parties
During the conflict, we react naturally as our conscious mind is trained. When we want to adopt new styles, we have to channelize our thoughts to work on each conflict management style. We need to comprehend conflict management style characteristics consciously by maintaining calmness and balance. Sometimes we will feel agitated as we are learning something new and it is not a part of our comfort zone. As a result, we have to show openness and flexibility to adopt changes in our approach. Therefore, conflict serves as “the crucible for creative solutions” as long as we put it in a correct perspective.
Also published on Medium.