The existence of conflicts between two individuals or among people in a group is just an uncomfortable scenario. Conflict arises from many different causes, but the primary factor for conflict is the differences in viewpoints and clash of opinions leading to arguments.
Conflict also arises whenever common understanding is not achieved. Nevertheless, even with the nature of conflict, the existence of conflict is healthy for individuals involved because it challenges them to become more assertive, and they engage in a healthy interaction among each other.
Conflict is inevitable whenever there is an exchange of ideas. It is healthy when dealt with properly but can also be damaging if not addressed appropriately. Handling disputes is no easy role to take, but it is essential nonetheless.
In a team that engages in conflict, for example, there should be someone who will take the lead in going through the process of resolving a conflict. Otherwise, the scenario will definitely be chaotic, with members asserting on their points and pushing for their own decisions. But a properly resolved conflict will lead to personal and professional growth.
The Concept of Synergy
In one of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits, the concept of synergy is highlighted. According to the presented knowledge, “seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” Simply put, listen first and pave the way for other’s opinions before pushing for your own ideas. Learn how to negotiate with each other instead of aggressively forcing your own inputs and decision.
To synergize is to agree upon a solution that works best for everyone. To compromise is not to agree with each other but to give in to what others want and that is not collaboration. Even the concept of groupthink, which is closely similar to compromising, does not work well in resolving a conflict.
Simple Steps in Resolving Conflict
Some people lack good knowledge and experience in dealing with conflicts. The important thing to remember is that there are different styles and techniques in handling conflict depending on what works for you and the other party. Here are simple steps for you to consider applying during conflicting situations:
1. Be conditioned for the scenario
If you are involved in a conflict with just another individual or if it is with a team, set yourself for the scene. This includes conditioning yourself and your mind to be civil and manifest a decent approach. Taking control of your emotions is also part of it. Demonstrate active listening for a clear understanding of the issue. Use assertiveness rather than aggressiveness in communicating.
2. Gather necessary information
The information may be facts or opinions of the other party. It is risky to be banking on assumptions and false understanding of the matter at hand.
3. Agree that a Problem Exists
Both conflicting parties must learn how to agree to a common perception of the dispute or the problem. Viewing the issue differently and not agreeing to a single viewpoint can be difficult to manage.
4. Consider Possible Solutions
In order to come up with possible options for a resolution, an open exchange of ideas and inputs for suggested solutions must be followed.
5. Agree to a Solution
The best way to do this is to apply the concept of synergy. An agreed solution works best in resolving conflicts instead of having one person decide the best solution for everyone.
Guiding Principles in a Conflict
During a conflicting situation, it is expected that the atmosphere may be heated and chaotic. But the involved parties can follow a set of guiding principles to exercise proper control and understanding while in the process of resolving the issue. The three essential principles are: sense of respect, calmness, and patience.
Respect is demonstrated through an open-mind and acceptance or consideration of other people’s ideas more than refuting them. When conversing and verbally exchanging ideas, respect is also shown through active listening more than interrupting and properly responding more than showing rudeness.
Calmness in the atmosphere must be set at the start of the conflict. Patience
should be manifested throughout the entire process of conflict resolution. Know
when to talk and when to listen. Avoid rushing to a hasty solution that does not
satisfy the needs of everyone.