Though conflicts are inevitable in our lives, getting in such a situation causes stress and the amount of stress a person gets depends on the intensity of the conflict. Nevertheless, conflict is a source of stress, and when it becomes severe, stress can be destructive on an individual.
While there is a way to avoid conflict especially if it is unnecessary and unproductive, do so and be practical. There are many ways to do so depending on the situations. In the workplace conflict, for example, the approach to resolving it should not be personal. A diplomatic and civil way to settle it is preferable.
Avoiding Conflict by Embracing It
We should all understand that we cannot avoid conflicts to occur because we deal with people everyday. In the office, we socialize and deal with different personalities. We may be given individual scope of work but sometimes, there is a need to collaborate with other members to complete the task easily. At times, misunderstanding and differences in perceptions occur. Instead of avoiding conflict, embracing it would be a lot more effective. By embracing conflict, you are avoiding it by dealing with it and handling it properly.
A working individual may find it hard to accept conflict if he is being passive. Expect for such situation to happen at any time while you work with other people, but do not go looking for one. You must keep a level of professionalism by not looking for trouble. Being aggressive sometimes helps, but being overly aggressive is no longer productive.
In embracing conflict, arguing with your coworkers or team members is never helpful. You can be assertive and still convey your opinion without bickering. No positive result ever comes out from bickering with people. In fact, it brings more harm to the team and the organization than achieving good results. The act of bickering is a perfect example of unprofessionalism.
Listen, Listen, and Listen some more
Here is a very essential skill that everyone needs to apply when engaged in a conflict: active listening. During a conflict, constant exchange of ideas happens a lot so both parties must learn the ability to actively listen. An open communication is also very important.
When two people communicate, respect must be shown by listening when one is talking. And when you listen, do not just hear what is being said but how it is being said and what feelings were expressed. Listening to the other person and understanding what they feel is a way to mellow down growing hatred, anger, or other negative emotions that may hinder an amicable resolution to the conflict.
In order to keep an open and healthy communication, avoid instances of verbal collision or talking at the same time. So when this happens, either of the parties must give way. Timely interruptions must also be done. If you wish to be heard and respected, set the example by not cutting someone off when he is trying to explain his side. A smooth and good flow of communication between and among employees in the workplace is less likely to create conflicts.
Seek to Understand
Another way to avoid or simply minimize conflict at work is learning to understand. If there are two parties engaged in a conflict, be a mediator and do not take sides. For managers, the role must be that of a peacemaker. In assessing a situation, weigh the pros and cons. Learn to understand the cause of the conflict first instead of reacting negatively.
For the members at work to create an ideal working environment, cordiality and friendliness among everyone should be maintained. We cannot just have things our way all the time especially at work. We need to adhere to rules and follow certain processes.
If you are in the higher management, ideally you ought to take charge of the work situations and how things are being managed. Though the use of power is good, abuse of power is another story.
Let us not wait for any form of dispute or quarrel to occur before we start correcting them and correcting the way we deal with others. It is best to do things right and appropriately to lessen any development of conflict at work.