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The ability to manage conflict is undoubtedly one of the most important skills a manager needs to possess

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Introduction

The ability to manage conflict is undoubtedly one of the most important skills a manager needs to possess A study of middle- and top-level executives revealed that the manager spends approximately 20% of his or her time dealing with conflict. In most management development programmes; conflict management was being more important than decision making, leadership or communication. . DEALING WITH CONFLICT Concept Definition Want Desire for something Goal Desired ideal state of future affairs Need Universal necessity for survival Interests potential benefits to be gained by achieving goals Conflict of interests The actions taken by person A to achieve goals prevent, block or interfere with the actions taken by person B to achieve goals Conflict "Conflict is defined as perceived incompatible differences that result in interference or opposition." The traditional view of conflict is that all conflict is bad and must be avoided. but also that some conflict is absolutely necessary for an ithin the organisation to perform effectively. We label this isolationist view of conflict. Human relations view is that conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in any organisation. Interactionist view of conflict that some conflict is necessary for an organisation to perform effectively. The interactionist view does not propose that all conflicts are good. Rather some conflicts support the goals of the organisation; these are functional conflicts of a constructive form. However, some conflicts prevent an organisation from achieving its goals; these are dysfunctional conflicts and are destructive forms. ...read more.

Middle

Whatever power seems appropriate - your ability to argue, to pull rank, to use economic sanctions and so on - is used to impose a solution on the otherr party. The usual response to this is resentment, antagonism, hostility and lack of co-operation. Supervisors who continually compete in conflict situations, who look only for a win-lose solution, are often surrounded by "yes men". They are often considered "hard to get on with" and don't know when to admit they are wrong. They find it difficult to build up a good working relationship with people. When speed and decisiveness are at a premium, as they are in emergencies, it might be quite an appropriate style. When you are in conflict with parties who refuse to co-operate and who are trying to take advantage of you, competitively managing the conflict may be your best option. When safety issues are at stake or a difficult or unpopular decision needs to be made, a competitive stance may be necessary Compromise - a solution of conflict in which each party gives up something of value. Compromising is intermediate, in both assertiveness and co- operativeness. It involves "splitting the difference" to arrive at a solution acceptable to both parties. This falls on a middle ground between competing and accommodating, where you give up more than in but less than in accommodating. It addresses issues more directly avoiding but doesn't explore them in as much depth as collaboratinng. ...read more.

Conclusion

Seek your common ground and work towards it. � Stick to the facts. Attacking the person really heats up the conflict! � Bring in a trusted third party. Mediators can often help both parties deal with the conflict calmly and objectively. Try tackling the easiest problems first, not as a way of avoiding the tough ones but because the progress you make will encourage you to find solutions to the tough problems too. Keep early discussions informal. It's always easier to "toughen up" than "soften down � Emphasise the relationship. If both parties are clear that a continued good relationship is a desired outcome, then both will work harder towards that end. � Limit each discussion to a few issues. Otherwise the "mountain" will look insurmountable. � Keep a long-term view in mind. This helps keep things in perspective. � Look for and foster flexibility and creativity. How can you both get what you want? Don't limit yourself by grasping the first solution that suggests itself. � Listen carefully and summarise frequently. Summarise the other's point of view, especially before disagreeing. � Adopt a "problem-solving" approach. See the dispute as a problem to be solved rather than a battle to be won. � Test your assumptions. Bring your thoughts out into the open so they can be verified. State clearly your position and your understanding of the other's position. Making assumptions about what the person does or doesn't know or want can be a recipe for going round in circles, ?? ?? ?? ?? Conflict Lecture 13 ...read more.

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