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Definition of Conflict Management:

Conflict management is identifying conflict issues before they occur and handling them effectively. No two people are going to agree with each other all the time, in any situation, place and relationship. This applies to the workplace as well. In such cases, the managers or the HR team usually intervene and resolve it before the bitterness can translate into poor productivity and bigger problems. 

What are the common conflict management styles?

Conflict management styles depend on how the concerned person would respond; are they going to be assertive, or are they willing to cooperate? Here are the common conflict management (or resolution) strategies that managers use to resolve conflicts. Developed by Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann, these are ;

  • Avoiding a conflict: Managers choose this style when the issue at hand is trivial or it can be resolved soon. This happens when confronting the issue is even difficult and outweighs the potential rewards of resolution. If followed for all sorts of issues, this can greatly affect the communication and collaboration between the two parties in the future, and will reduce the assertion that a manager can use.
  • Being Accommodating: In this case, one party gives in to ponder and do a retrospection of their action. While this is to cooperate with conflict resolution, it can lead to unresolved issues if the party compromises to maintain peace and avoid disruption. It could also lead the assertive party to dominate the conflict and cause bigger problems
  • Competing with one another: This happens when two assertive parties are bound to fight one another until one side emerges victorious and the other fails. This is not an effective strategy to use for workplace conflicts, as this does not provide a room for growth, diverse ideas, and innovation. 
  • Collaborating with each other: Here, both the parties are assertive and cooperative. In this case, a solution is more important to both parties than knowing who is right or wrong. 
  • Compromise between the two parties: Here both the parties are willing to give up a little and both don’t get their way. It leads to a solution that doesn’t favour anyone and is fair.