Managing Your Own Conflicts
In my daily life, I face many conflict situations due to the inability to avoid conflicts in the society. Recently, I encountered a conflict in the workplace with my coworkers on the drinking of alcohol during a fundraising. The management of the company had selected few individuals to a committee of coming up with a proposal for the fundraiser. While organizing a fundraiser dance, we reached a point I could not agree with my fellow colleagues on accepting alcohol to the party. Personally, I thought that allowing the drinking of alcohol in the fundraiser would pollute the climate needed in such events. In contrast, some of my colleagues argued that it is a norm to drink alcohol in the fundraising dances. The incident created a debate among the workers with every side having strong arguments for and against the situation. The paper will discuss the conflict situation I encountered while proposing the appropriate conflict resolution strategies.
Mediation strategy is one of the approaches of solving conflicts. Mediation process involves taking a third party to come in and talk to both parties to provide a solution. The members should understand the nature of conflict resolution in order to accept the verdict given by the mediator. In most occasions, the mediator is a person with experience and skills on the certain issues on conflicts. For instance, if there are political conflicts, the former head of states come up with amicable solutions among the parties (Runde & Flanagan, 2012). Thus, mediation helps to discuss comprehensively with the parties involved to come up with universally acceptable solutions.
Collaboration is another strategy of resolving conflicts among the individuals in the society. It involves the attempt to come up with a solution that makes all parties satisfied. Thus, the collaboration process critically analyze the underlying issues among the conflicting parties in order to come up with a decisions that will suite all the parties. This is one of the most recommendable methods of resolving conflicts among the organizations (Folger, 2013). It creates satisfaction, respect, meets the needs of the parties, and all the parties are motivated to work together. This creates a win-win situation for the parties involved in the negotiation process.
In addition, the strategy of comprise can also be used in resolving the conflicts between individuals. Comprise seeks to find a solution that is acceptable by both parties. In most occasions, the comprise situation falls between the competing and accommodating aspects of both parties (Rahim, 2011). However, the comprising process forces individuals to give up more than they would have in a competing situation. Similarly, it addresses the conflict issues underlying the parties rather than avoiding the situation. Even though the comprising process may create a certain difference among the parties, it finally comes up with common solutions relevant for the organizations.
It is also advisable for the individuals involved to be self-understanding. The concept of self-understanding emphasizes on the need to understand you personal reactions and emotions in order to prevent them from hurting that of the other parties. Some people are quick in provoking others, and thus create the conflict situations. I would be ready to check my emotions against hurting others in the discussion. Thus, people should allow others to express their arguments and points while offering suitable counterarguments. Self-understanding attitude and nature can help to resolve any conflict situations among individuals.
In order to solve such conflict situations, the workers could use appropriate conflict management strategies. The action plan should explore the following issues to resolve the underlying conflicts among the parties.
- Creation of open and trustful climate. The parties must create a situation where all parties are comfortable of their consideration in the ultimate decisions to be made on the conflicts. Dishonesty climate could increase the levels of conflicts among the parties involved. As a result, it is important to create honesty and trustful climate that promotes the resolutions of conflicts.
- The parties involved should have equal power and authority. Such conditions help to avoid any privileges being awarded to certain people due to their status and positions in the organizations. During the conflicts resolution process, the individuals should have same vote and power to avoid the manipulation of the outcome of the conflict resolution process. Individuals with higher power and authority would cause inequalities in the ultimate decision made.
- Understanding the personal objectives and goals. It is also good to understand the personal goals of each party involved in the conflicts. The main question to be asked in the situation is what does the particular party want or need from the conflict situation? The proper understanding of the party’s objectives helps to resolve the conflicts peacefully without hurting any of the parties involved. Thus, the needs of the parties involved must be well evaluated and determined.
- Exploration of the underlying interests. This is one of the most important actions to be undertaken in the conflict resolution process. It helps to understand whether the interests of the parties are negative or positive.
Based on the above insights, the following personal action plan would be appropriate resolving the conflict with colleagues on whether to accept the taking of alcohol in the fundraising dance.
My personal strategy involves the following;
- Making my decision on whether I am ready to engage in the conflict.
- Deciding on my desire and interests from the conflict situation.
- Acknowledging my feelings towards the situation.
- Seeking for support from my colleagues who have the common interests.
- Identification of the real issues affecting the conflict situation.
- Making the conflict impersonal.
- Being clear and direct during the conflict resolution process
- I could also let the conflict go.
During the conflict resolution period, I discovered that I was more comfortable with one strategy compared to the others. Mostly, the comfortable strategy selected gives me a certain level of satisfaction and benefits. However, parties are encouraged to sacrifice their personal interests in order to resolve the conflicts by a common conflict resolution strategy (Folger, 2013). After the strategy was agreed on, I still found myself resisting the actions laid out to resolve conflicts between the committee members. Being the proposing or opposing side of the conflict situation, the introduction of strategy implies that one side will have to sacrifice in which I was not ready to accept the situation. However, with time, I was able to accept the conflict management strategy.
During conflict resolutions, there are various barriers experienced by people. First, the fact that one side might be disadvantaged creates a strong barrier in handling the various conflicts. This is one of the main barriers among people as they try to solve conflicts. In addition, different interests among the parties involved also create an obstacle on resolving conflicts in the society (Rahim, 2011). Naturally, people are different and it is more likely that they will engage in conflicts. The lack of effective communication and listening skills among the people might make it difficult to resolve the various conflicts. Communication helps in explaining the underlying issues while the listening skills help to understand each other on the specific issues. However, I think some people like conflicts situations. When I encountered one, I saw some people enjoying the situation (Runde & Flanagan, 2012). Such people are always showing off their ability to negotiate and resolve the conflicts. In addition, they are usually not ready to adapt quick conflict resolution measures. Such individuals make it difficult to resolve the conflicts encountered by other people.
Based on the conflict situation, I think collaboration would be the most appropriate method of resolving the conflicts among the workers. The management expects a quick proposal of the fundraising dance and thus, collaboration would offer a quick strategy. This implies there is no adequate time to involve mediators and others interested parties in the conflict resolution process. Thus, collaboration strategy fits due to its ability of provide quick decisions on the conflict situation. The issue of taking alcohol is not a major issue that could cause the fundraising party not to proceed. Thus, the parties should agree on the appropriate ways to resolve the issue of alcohol in the party. Both reasons and understanding should be tabled and analyzed to come up with one solution. In addition, the collaboration process would give a solution acceptable by both parties, making them happy and participative in the event. As a result, the collaboration strategy creates cohesiveness among the people involved in the conflict situation.
Folger, J. P. (2013). Working through conflict. London, UK: Pearson.
Rahim, M. A. (2011). Managing conflict in organizations. New York, NY: Transaction Publishers.
Runde, C. E., & Flanagan, T. A. (2012). Becoming a conflict competent leader: How you and your organization can manage conflict effectively. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.