Human beings face conflicts in their life all the time. This is because of the differences in individual beliefs, perceptions, and approaches to life. Conflicts are inevitable and can indeed provide avenues for productive mutual relationships. Understanding individual differences and beliefs are important in conflict resolution. Conflicts at the workplace or even at home can be productive but only if resolved in the right way. Because conflicts are unavoidable, it is always a good idea to be prepared in order to handle issues that would threaten the peaceful co-existence of a group.
If I was in a leadership position, I would implement programs that would create a friendly working environment through healthy conflict resolution mechanisms. Some of the strategies that I would cooperate with include.
- Listening Carefully; In times of conflict, I would always listen carefully to everyone irrespective of who is right or wrong. This helps create a feeling of trust where both parties feel respected. This is because everyone has their own side of the story and by understanding each person’s personality, I would then be in a better position to iron out their differences in an agreeable manner.
- Cooling down tensions; In times of conflict, emotions and tensions rise because both opposing sides are in arguments about who is right or wrong. It’s always better to step back and calm down the parties in order to create room for a discussion. As a leader, I will always encourage both sides to look at the issue from the other person’s perspective. This would help them realize that could they have been in the other person’s shoes, probably they would have done the same thing albeit in a different way. I would encourage them to avoid personalizing the problem and instead attack the issue. Most times during moments of conflict, people tend to attack the person instead of the issue at hand. This only heightens tensions and makes the situation worse because it leads to a defense mechanism where the attacked party takes the necessary measures to defend themselves while attacking the opponent with the aim of destroying them. My role as a leader would then be to understand each person’s individual perception while calming them down in order to create a conducive environment for an open and respectful discussion.
- Looking at the facts; While resolving issues, I will try to establish the facts, considering each person’s perspective before making any conclusions. For instance, if a conflict arises while the team is deciding on how to solve a problem, I will try to identify what each team member perceives as the problem. Different perspectives on the same problem will lead everyone to consider different solutions. I will allow everyone to table their points of view without interruption so that I get all the relevant facts needed for an informed decision.
- Cooperation as opposed to competition; In times of conflict, I will always encourage my team to cooperate with each other while resolving conflicts. This will help my team address the shared problem instead of attacking each other’s individual personalities. If I listen keenly to my team and consider the situation while calmly discussing the perspectives and concisely looking at the facts, I would be able to inspire cooperation despite initial disagreements.
As an informed leader, I would change my leadership style and incorporate ideas that would bring out more delegation, teamwork, and cooperation amongst my team members. I would create an atmosphere where employees are free to express their opinions and share their frustrations and experiences without fear of reprisals. I will also create a program that would enable team members to offer ideas on how to better serve our clientele, increase revenue and boost morale at the workplace.
When employees know that their opinions in the day-to-day management of the company matter, they are likely to take up any challenge that is thrown at them by the company’s leadership and turn it into a big success for the company. They are in the end motivated and would always take on new initiatives and work on them as if they were working for their own families.