Mediation, conflict coaching and team interventions are a few of the conflict management strategies usually provided by human resources personnel. Evaluating which ones are best requires identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each strategy for a given situation to enhance partnerships, and manage and create awareness around conflict resolution. These ideal strategies help to curb conflict prevention in the workplace at an early stage.
Identify the conflicts that can occur in a workplace such as difficult relationships, overbearing management, excessive workload and other challenges. Determine various conflict management strategies appropriate for creating an opportunity to understand the points of view of both sides, respectful of culture, age and other differences. Develop a checklist to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the strategies you have selected for the particular conflict.
Evaluate the best conflict management strategy from those you have chosen based on the respective strengths and weaknesses. Consider the strategy of "collaborating" in which teamwork and cooperation are the focus to achieve the goals of the parties in conflict and maintain relationships. Consider the strategy of "compromising" in which both parties win something and agree to lose something. Ensure that none of the strategies involve "competing" in which one wins and the other loses, or "avoiding" by postponing and sidestepping the issue.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy you have chosen by assessing if the strategy will lead to a mutually satisfactory agreement. Include in the checklist the effectiveness of both parties being heard and neither party feeling that their concerns were neglected. Evaluate if the strategy and the conflict are appropriately matched based on the urgency of the matter, the importance of the relationships and balance of power between the parties. Review the evaluation and confirm the ideal strategy for the workplace conflict.
Use a strategy that fits the conflict rather than one that is commonly used in the workplace.
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Evaluation of Informal Conflict Management Services Offered by AAFC's Office of Conflict Resolution
- Boston.com: Overcoming conflict in the workplace
- Southern Nazarene University: Conflict management strategies and styles
- Wright State University: Conflict Management--Style and Strategy
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