Conflicts are often deemed as a negative element of organizations. There must have been instances when you had tried to avoid conflicts to save a professional relationship or your team’s collective rapport. It is essential to understand that conflicts are an inherent and crucial part of the decision-making process and should be acknowledged professionally. Conflict leads to better suggestions and transparent discussions that consequently help the project and business. In her article for Association for Project Management, Susanne Madsen suggests several tips to tackle conflicts in your organization.
Types of Conflicts
Conflicts are often observed to be a type of friction between two parties. However, Madsen asserts that conflicts can be further categorized into five categories:
Collaborative, where both parties strive for a cooperative solutionCompromising, where one party compromises on their visions and tries to reach a middle groundCompetitive, where you do not care about the other party’s opinion or suggestions and want things done precisely your wayAccommodating, where you give in and want the conflict to endAvoiding, where you try to delay the conflict
Experts suggest that one of the efficient ways to tackle conflicts lies in responding to conflicts attentively. Madsen states, “explore the challenging situation by asking open questions of the other person. The best open questions begin with ‘what’ and ‘how.’ What are they looking to achieve? What makes this topic so important to them? What do they worry about?”
When they answer these questions, listen to them carefully and try to understand their vision. Many conflicts arise due to poor communication between team members. If you can put your opinion aside for a while and try to understand the other party’s opinion, you might get a new outlook on the situation. Even if you are not convinced by what the other party says, you will find yourself better positioned to put your suggestion in front of everyone.
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