Good communication skills prevent conflict or destructive escalation.
However, many of us do not communicate well. Sometimes our body language does not fit our verbal messages creating a cognitive dissonance in the listener. We may personalize issues.
We may criticize people rather than actions, behaviors, or situations. Listening effectively is the other half of good communication. The most common deficiency is letting our mind race ahead of the speaker’s voice.
We may use this speed difference to formulate responses or defenses. Or we may allow our mind to wander on other subjects and miss part of what is said. This is, at best, frustrating for the speaker. It also leads to misunderstandings. Team members must train their minds to focus on words and message until the speaker finishes.
Only then should they analyze and formulate a response. When you are negotiating with your team members, clients, vendors, or even your employees, it is important to always keep in mind the idea that both parties are seeking a Win/Win situation. No one wants to feel like they are giving away something for nothing. In fact, most conflicts arise because one party feels like the other party is taking advantage of them. In order to avoid these types of situations, there are certain principles you can apply to increase your chances of a successful negotiation.
Problem solving steps Problem solving skills define a problem, gather information, look for options and different perspectives, select the best solution, and implement it. These activities occur in distinct steps and in an orderly and structured way. 1) Define problem. Create a clear picture in your mind of the particular peer conflict you are having.
Sometimes it can help to write out a detailed description of the conflict, including the circumstances around it, what each of you said, the behaviors you observed, and your needs, thoughts and feelings about the conflict.2) Gather information One key to resolving conflict well is to keep it focused on ideas and procedures, not on emotions. That is to say try to Avoid “finger-pointing.” And Try to work out a compromise that pleases both of you. Make sure you understand the facts behind the issue that spawned the conflict. Do you and your peer or peers have opposing strategies or tactics for achieving a specific organizational objective? Take a few minutes to recycle the other person’s opinions in your mind.
Be sure to respect each other’s opinions.3) Look for options and different perspectives Try to find the missing piece. Seek more information: ask a lot of questions! Ask to speak with the individual after the meeting or during a break. Then seek advice from a source whose opinions and perceptions are different from your own. Try to understand the other person’s perspective: communication is more than just listening; try to see it their ways. Consulting with a trusted advisor might be helpful in broadening your perspective on the situation.4) Select best solution Once you have a general understanding of the conflict, the team involved will need to analyze and select the most appropriate strategy.
In some cases it may be necessary to have a neutral facilitator to help move the groups toward consensus. We have already known that the best may to resolve conflict is Collaborating strategy. The outcome of this strategy is “win/win.
” This strategy is generally used when concerns for others are important. It is also generally the best strategy when society’s interest is at stake. This approach helps build commitment and reduce bad feelings.
5) Evaluation Are you acting with authenticity and integrity? Do the tactics and strategy you want to use to reach a resolution fit with your values? Are you willing to disconnect from your emotions during the conflict situation? Focus your plan on ideas and procedures. If you keep your conflict management plan close to that path, then you and your peer have a better chance of creating a successful resolution.6) Implementation Settle the resolution of the conflict on teamwork, and then improve your relationship with your peers.
You and your partners’ jobs are not done when you’ve reached agreement. Communication and collaboration should continue as the agreement is carried out. The partnership will need to have a plan to monitor progress, document success, resolve problems, renegotiate terms and celebrate success.   3. Other Skills That Prevent Conflict Feedback – it is an effective conflict resolution technique.
In feedback, one individual confronts another in a structured setting with a carefully crafted statement. Remember as you talk, ask for feedback. Do not “attack” the other person with accusations. An example would be: “Jim, when you are late for meetings it makes me angry because your tardiness wastes everyone’s time and prevents our team from conducting its business. What do you think?” The addressee of the feedback statement must then respond in a structured way.
A facilitator governs and controls the process. Feedback is powerful. It defuses anger and brings rationality to a discussion. Feedback and Intervention are only two of many conflict resolution techniques.
CONCLUSIONConflict is a natural part of life. It can be positive or negative depending on how you choose to manage it. By recognizing potential conflicts and their warning signs, and using conflict management strategies to help you make appropriate decisions, you will have confidence and be better prepared to deal with conflict in teamwork in the future.
To become a good conflict manager requires a lot of practice. Just remember that the goal is to reach a compromise that both of you can live with as well as be happy with. In other words, find a way that both of you can walk away feeling like a winner!