Essay on Conflict Resolution
Conflict arises when one or more participants view the current system as unacceptable. And at least one party try’s to voice their opinion in order to improve the situation. This can also be viewed as a process we put ourselves in order to achieve ideal conditions. The first thing one should realize is, conflict is a part of life and the best thing anybody can do is to deal with it in a positive manner. Conflict can be derived through various reasons for example, person’s perspective, interest, belief system, or values. Because of globalization the work force is becoming more and more diverse, which in turn means more conflict. This is a not a bad thing it just means that a more effective team leaders and managers are required.
Through conflict we have opportunities to define ourselves better and allow us to do things differently in the future. Through resolution of conflict we can evolve and redefine ourselves, our relationships our community and our society. It is no coincidence that we find ourselves in conflict with those we spend the most time with, e.g. families, friends, associates etc. There are great benefits, just as long as we can constructively resolve conflict with those around us.
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In some teams the choice facing many members does not center upon a choice between the team and the self interested. The members must agree some course of action. This is particularly true when the decisions facing the team are complex. Team members who among alternatives acknowledge that conflict exists, but agree to accept the outcome of the vote. The key issue becomes how to develop and utilize a suitable voting scheme.
There are several kinds of voting rules and different rules are used in different situations. The objective of voting rules can be to find the alternative that the greatest number of team members prefer, the alternative the fewest members object to or the choice that maximizes team welfare. Anything short of unanimity indicates disagreement or conflict within the team. In many cases, conflict will be reduced or eliminated following the conclusion of voting.
Voting does not guarantee conflict resolution. Members may not agree on method of voting. Some members may insist on unanimity, others on simple majority and still others on a weighted majority rule. Even if a voting method is agreed on, it my not yield a decision or may not yield a dingle decision. Finally, because voting does not eliminate conflicts of interests, but rather provides a way fro members to live with conflict, such decisions may not be stable. In this sense voting masks disagreements within teams, potentially threaten long-term group and organizational effectiveness.
The most common voting procedure is majority rule. However, it presents several problems in the attainment of consensus. Despite it democratic appeal, majority rule does not reflect the strength of individual preferences. The vote of a person who strongly supports the issue, counts the same as the individual who is virtually indifferent. Consequently, majority rule does not promote creative tradeoffs among issues. One of the most successful keys to conflict management is the ability to make tradeoffs between issues under discussion. When teams discuss only one issue at a time and vote on outcomes under consideration, this results in less profitable outcomes than when teams discuss issues simultaneously and seek consensus.
Unanimous decision-making is time consuming, it encourages team members to consider creative alternative to expend the size of the pie and satisfy the interest of all members. Unanimous rule can also present a problem. When an individual refuses to compromise he or she can force decisions on the entire group.
Negotiation is necessary when no one can dictate a solution. Team members must agree for any decision to be binding. Conflicts can become very costly and time consuming if not worked out with in a short amount of time.
The strategy of multiple offers can be effective with the most uncooperative of negotiators. This strategy involves presenting the other party with at least two proposals of equal value to you. The other party is asked to indicate which to the proposals they prefer. This should reveal information about how the other side values trade offs between different components of the negotiations. There are psychological benefits as well; when people believe they have more choices, they are more inclined to cooperate.
Many people make the mistake of relying solely on intuition. This mistake leads to faulty assumptions about what other people want. People are not very good at reading others’ emotion in mixed-motive situations. In fact, intuition is almost completely unrelated to how well people actually do in negotiations. For example, the happy/unhappy theory: “If the other party is happy, then I probably did not do so well; if the other party is disappointed, then I probably did pretty well.”
After defining what a conflict is and also determining what type of conflict the situation is, the last step in this process is resolving the situation. Conflict will always arise in life but the main idea that people have to understand is how people handle the situation. People may use the right way of solving a conflict or they might use the wrong approach to solving a conflict. Some of the points that you might not want to do when conflict occurs are timing, personalizing, brown bagging, and not listening.
The first point is timing. People should pick the right time to have an argument. It wouldn’t be good to have an argument late at night, during another’s favorite television show, after several drinks or before someone has to leave for work. If you think about this, it seems good because all of these ideas would just make people argue even more and nothing would get resolved. If there is a problem, and then people should set some time away where there would be no distractions and resolve the conflict.
Personalizing is a main key people do in conflicts because it shifts the issue to the other’s personality. Instead of dealing with the problem at hand, people try to think of ways to get out of talking about the situation or even as far as hurting the other person by talking about the others’ life.
The term brown bagging is a major key in conflict because people try to list as many things wrong as they can think of in as much detail they can. People do not limit themselves to the present because they will bring up things that already happened in the past that they have not gotten over.
One of the last key points is listening. Many people who have conflict, some of the people do not want to listen to what the other person has to say. This is a main issue because if nobody listens to one another, then the conflict will never be resolved. The people will be stuck in their ways and nobody will win in the situation.
When it really comes down to resolving a conflict, the main things you need to know are what you want out of the situation. There is a difference between what you want and what you need to resolve the conflict. Emotions make us do things that might make it harder to resolve the conflict or prolong it. People should concentrate on the pros and cons of the conflict and what they will gain by winning the conflict or losing. There should be a medium ground where people could come to an agreement where both people are happy. Some methods that people use are by forcing the issue. People are successful when they get what they want by using force on them but it mostly at the expense of the other person. Most people who use this quality are usually aggressive.
Another key that people do is withdrawal. Conflict is resolved when one person attempts to satisfy the concerns of the other by neglecting his or her own interests. In doing this, the conflict is resolved for the time being but might arise later on. People who withdraw from conflicts usually tend to be more on the passive side.
The last key to solving conflict is compromise. Compromise is when two or more people have an approach in which partial satisfaction is sought for both parties through a middle ground position that reflects mutual sacrifice. Basically, two people are giving up something that they feel strongly about to reach a decision that the two people will be happy with. This trait is one of the main ideas because when you see that people are trying to reach an end result that people will agree on, it is showing that people are going to make sacrifices for the good of the conflict. Establishing a compromised conflict, one or the other person might not be happy but the people will be able to get past that and make something better out of that situation.
In conclusion, there will always be conflict in life and in the work place. Conflict is a breakdown in the decision making process where an alternative cannot be chosen. The main issue is how we deal with conflict in an appropriate manner. There are many people that sometimes do not always take the right path in resolving a conflict. The main idea in resolving a conflict is to come up with the best plan of action that other people will agree on. Conflict resolution will benefit people because it helps people come to a conclusion that both sides will be comfortable with.
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Essay on Conflict Management
I work for an organization called Hallmark Trading Company. This company provides services such as capital ventures, new and used equipment sales and purchases, and a full line truck center. In the course of doing business, sometimes conflict will arise. In this paper, I will first explain what conflict is, the different types of conflict and then the different styles of management used to handle conflict. My personal style of management will also be shown according to the assessment tool taken from the workbook Organizational Behavior 7th addition written by Schermerhorn JR., Hunt, and Osborn. I will explain how this style contradicts with the style of management in my organization but how the style they use may be more effective.
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Conflict is something that happens often in my organization. However, there are different styles to manage conflict and some are more effective than others. Before I explain these different styles, it is important to understand what conflict is. "Conflict occurs whenever disagreements exist in a social situation over issues of substance or whenever emotional antagonisms create frictions between individuals or groups" (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, 2002 pg.127, Conflict). There are two distinctive types of conflict, "substantive conflict" and "emotional conflict".
Substantive conflict happens when one person fundamentally disagrees with another person or group in the course of doing business. For example, my boss bought a package of step vans used in delivering bakery products. He wanted to market the trucks for electrical and mechanical applications where I thought they should be remarketed for another bakery operation. This is just a disagreement of opinions, but management still has to develop a way to manage this type of conflict, which can be very challenging depending on the personalities involved.
Emotional conflict intrudes into the feelings of a situation, such as anger, mistrust, dislike, fear, resentment, and the like. This is commonly called "clash of personalities" (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, 2002, pg.127,). This type of conflict can sometimes be more draining, and take away from the more important work that needs to be done. Usually this happens between co-workers who may not like one another, or with customers who are not dealt with properly. I have witnessed both types of conflict in my organization and the different styles used in managing these types of conflicts.
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STYLES
According to Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn there are five ways to manage conflict. The first style I want to write about is Smoothing or Accommodation style. This is when a manager agrees with the other side of the conflicting situation. He/she smoothes the conflict over by maintaining superficial harmony. Second is Collaboration and Problem Solving. This is when a manager trouble shoots the problem and then works through the differences to make it an acceptable situation for everyone. The third is Avoidance. With this style the manager would stay neutral at all costs, trying not to participate in the situation at all. The fourth is Competition and Authoritative Command. This style of management is derived from the term I like to use as the "God" style. When a manager forces the opposite party to agree with him/her. They use their position to win due to their authority. The last style is Compromise. This style is when the manager seeks "acceptable" rather than "optimal" solutions so no one totally wins or loses.
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT STYLES IN MY ORGANIZATION
There is not one style that is used as a guideline in my organization. Each departmental manager uses the style that is conformed by his or her personality. The CEO of the organization tends to use the competition and authoritative command style. He is an ex-military man who has this style instilled into his personality. He is the boss, so we need to do it his way. This is a very counter productive way to manage conflict. He makes us use his philosophies in decisions we make rather than opening the conflict up for debate. The "my way or the highway" attitude. This style of management forces more conflict between the departments and resentment towards him. Even though I do not agree with this style of managing conflict it has been a successful style for him. He has been able to maintain a high level of integrity through the same style. Meaning, although he forces his views and decisions on his employees those decisions and views are mostly good for the company, just sometimes bad for morale.
MY STYLE OF CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
In the organizational behavior workbook 7th addition, there is an assessment test that helps the person taking it understand which style he or she uses. It asks a variety of questions that help pinpoint the style best suited for his/her personality. The style that was best suited for my personality was Collaboration and Problem Solving. According to the text this is the best style to handle conflict. The difference between this and the style that my CEO uses is that I genuinely have a desire to find a solution for everyone's concerns by working through differences to find the problem so everyone gains as a result. His desire is that everyone should think the way he does for every situation even though everyone's views are different.
This essay paper has explained what conflict is and the two types of conflict there are. It listed each style of management used to deal with conflict and which styles work best. It also has explained which style is used by my organization "Hallmark Trading Company" and what style I use personally according to the assessment tool in the Organizational Behavior Workbook 7th addition. I enjoyed learning more about the different styles of managing conflict while writing this paper. My desire is now to be able to recognize conflict when it happens and use a style of management that will best resolve the issues in the conflict.
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