Conflict Matters!

December 9, 2007

Managers face many situations where he has to sort out two opposing actions or ideas. Situation may be very tense as people with conflicting ideas become very much involved and passionate about their stand. 

 As a manager, a positive and constructive conflict between team members may be a good thing (such as some team members in favor of Microsoft based technology and others for Linux based), but how you handle it matters the most. Conflict can be between individuals, teams, groups or organizations.  How you approach the situation tells who you really are.  Does it make you uncomfortable when you face such situation and just pretend it does not exist? Do you just avoid completely being in any conflict and do not share your insights/thoughts?  

I think conflict pushes oneself to test own mental and physical boundaries.  Some people get agitated and quickly loose control over thought process when someone is in conflict and try to trump the other in any way; some may feel nervous and just shut up and opt to get out; while other may listen to opposing views with cool head and try to work out some solution.

When managing a general conflict situation, try following (there might be situations where professional help is needed) –

  1. Stay calm; listen to other views with open mind.  Both sides may be right from own perspective.
  2. Find the real reason of conflict, not the one that is perceived. Observe.
  3. Believe that positive solution will come out at the end.
  4. Acknowledge the concerns and fears.  Find out what are the choices.
  5. Think win-win solution.  Attack the issue not the people.
  6. Make it known what is expected out of situation resolution.  Stay on the issue.
  7. Select the best solution and implement it.

Any other suggestions?  Have a good day!


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