Conflict Management Training

Conflicts in the workplace are inevitable. An organization is made up of different hierarchical levels, teams, processes, and systems. They all have designated roles and duties to perform; this arrangement works efficiently when everyone is on board, in sync, and has no conflicts.
Every new process or project or new framework leads to changes and discussions; in such cases, conflicts can arise.

Everyone have different experiences, backgrounds and we develop different perspectives over the period of time, which mean that we oftenhave different opinions and ways to handle crisis. This diversity of experience and thought is a good thing, but on occasion it can also lead to misunderstanding and conflict between members of organization, which need effective resolution strategies.

Not every conflict is terrible. Often conflicts of opinions may compel office members to revaluate the topic in hand, policies, or decisions. Competition may cause people to debate, improve and implement better solutions or arrive at well-thought decisions. Such conflicts are often healthy and are encouraged in competitiveness, but it’s a fragile road and should tread carefully.
Conflicts can be in the unspoken form or evident enough to escalate in more dangerous conditions.Unspoken or evident conflicts may give rise to hostile working environments, low morale, increased stress, and uncertainty; this is likely to have an adverse effect on performance. If ignored, conflict can escalate and affect overall. Furthermore, the situation may deteriorate if disputes are not resolved, leading to litigation, damaging the organization’s reputation. Conflict can be costly concerning time and money. It is therefore essential to manage conflict constructively.
Conflict, as mentioned above, may be hidden or unspoken, in the form of irritation, resentment, loss of morale, and low performance. Unspoken conflict is easily overlooked and, therefore, can be particularly harmful. If required action is not enforced to address the underlying issues, conflict may escalate from gossip, malicious talk, and criticism to tongue-lashing, threats, and possible destructiveness. Such altercations can often be prevented by taking early action to address the issues.

Conflict not only occurs among the people of organization but also in between organization and customers. Due to lack of inadequate customer service or reduced quality of product or service, customer dissatisfaction happens. To handle these altercations is of utmost importance for an organization.

Below are few of the reasons as to why conflicts arises in the workplace.

  • Differences of opinion,
  • Dissatisfaction with working conditions or remuneration,
  • Excessive workloads,
  • Lack of recognition or promotion,
  • Perceptions of discriminatory or unfair treatment,
  • Feelings of insecurity,
  • Fear of redundancy,
  • Clashes of personality,
  • Misunderstandings or breakdowns in communication,
  • Differing expectations of what constitutes appropriate behaviour 
  • Differences in personality
  • Differences in styles of working
  • poorly organized workplace
  • Discrimination, harassment.
  • Poor customer service
  • Contracts of employment/terms and conditions
  • Level of support or resources

What kind of behaviour arises from conflict?

  • Lack of respect
  • Bullying, intimidation, or harassment
  • Refusal to work together or co-operate
  • Shouting or heated arguments
  • Verbal abuse or insult
  • Physical threat
  • Physical assault

What kind of behaviour arises from conflict?

  • Stress
  • A drop in motivation or commitment
  • Anxiety
  • Sickness absence
  • Changed job roles
  • Resigned from the job
  • A loss of self-confidence
  • Depression
  • Unworkable relationships
  • A drop in productivity
  • Formal disciplinary
  • Legal dispute
  • Dismissal

Methods of dealing with workplace issues:

  • Disciplinary action 
  • Grievance procedure 
  • Training managers in handling ‘difficult conversations’ or managing conflict. 
  • Facilitated discussion/trouble-shooting by HR department 
  • Internal mediation by a trained member of staff 
  • Settlement agreement 
  • Early conciliation (the process conducted before going to the Employment Tribunal) 
  • External mediation Arbitration by an independent third party (where an independent third party imposes a solution) 

The different types of conflict management include:+*

  1.  Preventative measures: 

    • Changes in the workplace: Improve on poor workplace layout.
    • Change in Job Role: discuss changing shifts or job roles if people step on one another’s toes. 
    • Training staff: provide training in conflict management so they can handle confrontational behavior appropriately.
    • Conflict resolution policy: a conflict resolution policy establishes that the company has zero tolerance for unruly behavior.

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