Conflicts can arise in any environment where people interact. Businesses are no different. While conflict is largely inevitable, a leader's ability to resolve disagreements quickly and effectively can prevent those conflicts from damaging productivity and interpersonal relationships. When conflicts are resolved effectively, a business and its employees can grow stronger by learning from the experience, making conflict resolution an important skill for business professionals to have.
Avoiding conflict delays resolution. Hoping problems will de-escalate on their own is typically not an effective strategy because problems can fester, leading to higher levels of resentment.
Take a look at five strategies for defusing interpersonal conflicts.
Sometimes, being flexible is the quickest way to address a grievance. Each situation needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but giving the other party what they want can lead to positive outcomes.
- Embracing Conflict
Embracing conflict represents the opposite approach to avoiding it. Managers who use this strategy believe that conflict is a normal and expected aspect of group interactions. Dealing with issues immediately can have many positive outcomes because there is not enough time for them to escalate or for resentment to develop. Leaders who embrace conflict often have strong interdepartmental communication channels that allow others to understand what conflicts may be brewing.
Collaboration is built on a spirit of compromise and teamwork. If an employee voices frustration with a certain aspect of work or business policy, a manager can pool ideas from several workers to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone. Collaboration requires a significant time commitment and may not be appropriate for all situations. Collaboration does involve group buy-in, meaning that the strategy can improve morale among the workers involved.
- Provide Guidance
Some conflicts develop out of misunderstanding. Managers can play an important role by not taking sides and helping employees work out their problems in a constructive manner. Guiding the conversation while providing relevant information can lead to positive outcomes for both parties.
This approach calls on both sides of the disagreement to give some concessions for the good of the organization. Compromise works best when both parties hold approximately equal power. This strategy is frequently employed in other aspects of business, so many employees will be familiar with this concept.
Learn These Strategies in the Online MBA Program From NKU
Left unaddressed, conflict can lead to a loss of productivity and a breakdown of trust among workers. How business leaders handle individual conflicts depends on several factors, including their formal training. NKU's online MBA program teaches communication and other soft skills that can be used to de-escalate conflicts in the workplace.
A growing number of businesses are looking for business leaders who possess interpersonal skills as well as traditional business skills. If you are looking for a broad-based MBA degree program that teaches conflict resolution techniques and other important soft skills, we encourage you to explore NKU's online MBA program. The accelerated degree is taught by NKU faculty and can be completed in as few as 12 months.
Learn more about Northern Kentucky University's online MBA program.
Sources:Entrepreneur: 6 Strategies to Resolve Conflict at Work
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.