Building Trust - Resolving Conflicts
Conflict Occurs in Everyday Life
Conflicts can be a problem even in small businesses, and small business owners have enough pressure today. So, they often avoid addressing those types of problems.
Whether we are talking about businesses, social gatherings or family relationships, conflict is going to happen at some point. The problem is that conflict is usually based on our perceptions, which is not necessarily an objective review of the situation.
Conflict resolution is a way for two or more parties to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement among them. This definition holds true whether the conflict concerns politics, money, emotional or personal situations.
I do not like conflicts at home, and I do not like them at work. You can agree to disagree and avoid the conflicts. Or, you can have a discussion with the agreement that each person is free to express their opinion without any negative reactions from the other person or people. This can be difficult if you feel strongly about the topic, but it is not impossible.
Furthermore, if someone talks to me in a condescending fashion, I will immediately go on the defensive. I think it is a rude and unnecessary way to get your point across. I choose not to react in an angry way, but I will say what is on my mind when this occurs.
Conflicts in Businesses
When there is conflict in businesses it can affect productivity, profit, client relationships and even reach the point of dysfunction where one person might refuse to work with another.
Everyone makes judgments about the people they meet, which may be positive or negative. I tend to like most people, which is probably good as I worked as a nurse for 24 years, and I would consider that a “people business.” I will confront a problem and try to resolve it.
Since hospitals are a type of business, teamwork is more important than ever due to the nursing shortage that has affected almost every state. They are using more nurse practitioners and nursing assistants today, and teamwork is the only way they will survive a more complex healthcare setting. There will still be conflict, but teamwork seems to help avoid many problems.
HR Basics: Workplace Conflict
Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.
Personal Feelings Always Impact Conflict
I recently had a conversation with my grandson, who just returned from his first six month deployment on a nuclear submarine. I asked him how he liked the work and the people that he worked with closely. He is the type of young man who is very motivated to do well.
He said. “Some of the guys are slackers” and there are three others in his area that work really hard. However, he also said he didn’t like the “competitiveness between them.” One of those competitive young men could see what needed to be done before most people realized what was happening, and my grandson really respected him. My grandson is only 22, and I know he probably had some anxiety about his first deployment. I am so glad he will talk to me about his feelings.
These men work in very close quarters when they are on deployment, so I would imagine a degree of conflict would be normal. Yet, if they weren’t trained to work as a team they would not be nearly as productive. The Navy works hard to build strong teams with a lot of training as their lives may depend on it.
Business or Personal
As for profit making businesses, it would be wise to address conflicts immediately and consider conflict-resolution training if their problems warrant this training. An article in Forbes magazine stated that “leadership and conflict go hand-in-hand”.
The article further states to embrace conflict so you understand the conflict and find a resolution. This article also covered common causes of conflicts, such as jealousy, ego, power struggles, competitive tensions, opposing positions and compensation issues.
I think a few of the same issues are true in personal relationships. My husband and I do not view every situation in the same way, but we communicate. It is okay for him to have a different opinion, as he respects me, and I am not threatened in any way if he does not agree with me all the time.
I also have a sister who views many things differently than I do, but I love her also, and there are some things we just don’t discuss. We still spend time together and have a good time.
How should conflicts be resolved at work or home? I’m sure most people thought of communication first. Embrace conflict, which means communication so tensions don't build. People in leadership positions have some responsibility to lead in resolving conflicts.
Talking through a problem and making sure you have all the pertinent information assists the chance of resolving most problems. Listening to the other person's opinion is very important to find a resolution.
Don’t use accusatory phrases, but state what you think and why. If someone is enraged, no communication will be productive, and I would simply walk away until that person had time to cool off.
In personal relationships, the sooner you discuss any problem the better chance you have at resolution. I have learned to pick my battles over the years. Some things aren’t worth arguing over, and other things are more important to me, so I am going to open the conversation.
I have heard many people who have been married for many years state they made it a rule not to go to bed mad. That pushes them to get their conflict resolved more quickly.
If people want to resolve their conflicts that desire will go a long way toward resolution. Sincerity is important, and sometimes we do have to turn the other cheek and forgive. How important is it to you? That is a good question to ask yourself.
Resolving conflicts builds trust in a relationship. If you have a special way to resolve conflicts, please share them in your comments.
How do you handle conflict at work or home?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.