Conflicts are inevitable in business and can range from minor disagreements about how something should be done to major conflicts regarding the direction of the company.
Conflicts can be challenging to handle, but by using certain conflict management styles, you can get through them much easier.
Let’s discuss 5 conflict management styles and how you can use them to manage disputes effectively in your business.
5 Conflict Management Styles Business Owners Should Know
The accommodating conflict management style is when one side sacrifices personal interests to give in to the conditions offered by the other party. However, on the principle of balance, that sacrifice must be accompanied by respect for one’s rights, opinions, and limitations.
This conflict management style can be applied when you’re the person who is wrong, or you just want the workplace to be peaceful as there’s no point in arguing. It helps maintain the harmony of the relationships between individuals involved in the conflict.
For workplace conflicts that aren’t too important and don’t affect the common interests of the team, you can choose the method of avoiding. You can leave the insiders to work the problem out themselves, or ask a third party to help resolve this conflict.
Make sure that the person you choose to solve the problem is insightful, observant, and can communicate well. And of course, they must be someone who isn’t involved in the conflicts.
This conflict management style can be applied when the conflict is minor and you can let someone else help you resolve it.
In any conflict that arises at work, the first and foremost style of conflict management that every leader must consider is the compromising method.
Compromising is seen as a positive way to resolve workplace conflicts. Advise each person to think about the interests and common goals of both parties, as well as the success of the business, to yield to each other and not to make unwanted consequences.
The method of compromising should be applied to resolve conflict cases that are relatively important, in which the problem becomes tense, and both sides still insist on their own views. It’s when reaching the solution is more important than the solution itself.
The collaborating style is used to find a solution that pleases all involved parties. It’s seen to be the friendliest way to end a workplace conflict. You can apply this conflict management style when the interests, needs, beliefs of all parties need to be considered.
Conservativeness from individuals and management won’t result in the final reconciliation and it’s difficult to continue working together if the conflicting situation continues. Proactively express your goodwill to cooperate, clearly state your own views on the issue, and respect the goals and perspectives of each person.
Collaborating will create opportunities to make interpersonal relationships become better, creating a basis for cooperation to successfully complete the team’s work tasks.
When you know exactly that you’re right, and you have no time for beating around the bush, competing style is the way to go. With this approach, you take a firm stance and refuse to compromise.
You’re not influenced by others’ ideas and perspectives, no matter how many times they’ve tried to make themselves clear.
Remember that this is only the last resort, try this method when nothing else works. The competing approach can completely resolve the conflict between employees and not let the situation prolong.
After this, let the relationship between employees heal itself and get rid of unnecessary hatred that affects work performance.
Tips for Workplace Conflict Management
Listen & Understand the Situation
Identifying the cause of a conflict is the first thing to do because if you don’t know the cause, you won’t know where to start.
Few situations play out exactly as they seem or as you expect. So before trying to resolve a conflict, make sure you have investigated both sides of the issue.
Give Many Choices
When there are conflicts, it means that your employees don’t agree with each other on certain things. So, to solve this problem you can’t just make a single option and force the parties to follow, but give multiple options so that they can discuss and choose the best option. Avoid pushing employees into constraints, as it can only make the conflicts worse.
The best conflict resolution skill is to put yourself in the position of the mediator with fair arbitration, unbiased, and not defending any side. Everyone wants to be the right person and get support from others. If you’re inadvertently defending a certain side, it’ll make them think you’re unfair, and conflict will certainly not be solved.
Establish rules and policies regarding mutual respect. Create guidelines for resolving workplace conflicts. This is to let staff know what behaviors are and aren’t welcomed, as well as what steps they should take to deal with their own disputes.
Throw away your ego
When you’re the mediator, you need to get your individual ego out of the arbitration. When a stressful issue leads to conflict, it means that then the person’s ego involved has become bigger than usual, and they don’t want to give in to each other.
So, if you use your personal ego in the conversation with the conflicting employees, it’ll take you nowhere. Put yourself into the position of each person, so you can resolve conflicts wisely and more effectively.
Use conflict management styles flexibly
Depending on each situation, your employees, and your personality type, you can pick different conflict management styles accordingly and use them flexibly. So the next time you face conflicts, you know what to do!