Monday, February 3, 2014

Conflict Management Strategies

In the last byte, we looked at the withdrawal response as defensive mechanism. In today's byte, begin our discussion on conflict management strategies and techniques. 

To understand let’s begin with two situations to understand the discussion:

Situation 1: Two departments of an organization let’s assume an insurance company - sales department and claims team. If these two departments are in conflict with each other over a budget allocation, the claims manager could ask for a cut in sales training staff, while the sales department could look for a cut in the claims personnel. In such a conflict situation which emerges to be dysfunctional it is the organization that looses overall.

Situation 2: The two departments choose to have a functional approach and eventually decide to cut a minimum number of members in each of the departments and this could prove to be a better situation for an organization.

Situation 1 is indicative of a competitive approach to conflict management while the second situation is indicative of cooperative approach. The competitive approach is based on the assumption of a win-lose situation and could include the following - a dishonest communication, mistrust, and a rigid position. The cooperative approach is based on the possibility of a win-win situational and includes openness, honest communication, trust and most importantly a belief that whole might be much greater than the sum of parts.

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