Sources of Conflict
Upon reflection, conflict for me is a concept that is derived out of a serious disagreement or an argument, which is generally a protracted one. It is a form of struggle between individuals which may later turn into a physical collision between them or result in a conflict of ideas. Generally, conflicts arise when there are values, needs, and ideas involved and are considered to be different from the other, or when there is no way for reconciling the dispute. Continuing to reflect on, conflict can be generated from various sources such as when individuals possess different priorities and goals or when there is minimum goal sharing objectives when individuals have a personal conflict with a lack of common cause between them when individuals have to compete over the limited resources present when individuals possess different communication styles and individuals have a different set of values (McKibben 2017).
For me, emotional conflict is one of those types of conflicts that is difficult to resolve as it involves feelings rather than substantive conflict which generally occurs when there is a disagreement of the opinions. I have a greater awareness that emotional conflicts are tricky to resolve because it intrudes on an individual’s feeling and related situations such as mistrust, anger, resentment and fear which are generated out of personality clashes and drains the individuals involved more and impact their work productivity and level. It is mostly present between those team members or co-workers who do not like the other’s personality. However, substantive conflict is easier to resolve because it occurs when an individual disagrees with other individuals while engaging in a certain work (Madalina 2016).
Here, according to me, disagreements can be resolved with communication and not escalate them into further conflicts. It is even considered productive and healthy when there are disagreements taking place because it helps in the generation of brainstorming and development of new ideas which will ultimately work in the favour of the team or the organisation. A conflict is a form of strong disagreement or a form of collision of needs, values, intentions and interests within different individuals, organisations, groups or communities, which is also a negative effect on the same that may result in a dysfunctional and unhealthy competition, hostility, loss of affinity and distrust among the team members. I realised that conflicts are originated when the basic needs are not met and there is a perceived obstruction among the individuals as it interferes with their aim to attain a particular goal and consists of struggle over the allocation of resources and power (Caputo et al. 2019).
Through this course, I came to a conclusion that my initial attitude towards conflict was a positive one because without conflict adoption and implementation of new ideas and concepts with not be conducted. Conflicts majorly arise when there are individuals who strongly oppose each other’s perspectives, viewpoints and opinions. However, as I continued to reflect upon the study materials I recognised a conflict cannot be a solution for a problem as it creates anxiety and tension. Therefore, it is highly crucial for the conflicts to be controlled for a peaceful and healthy environment, especially at the right time. Here, attitude plays an important part in the conflict and its management as it is not possible to achieve the goals and objectives when individuals do not possess a positive attitude. Conflicts usually arise when there an individual finds fault with others (Young et al. 2016).
Types of Conflict
Therefore, having a positive attitude can help in avoiding the development of conflicts, in any kind of environment along with being adjusted and flexible. Generally, there are three different types of views relating to organisational conflict namely, traditional view, human relations view and interactionist view. On further research, I now possess a greater awareness and it helped me realise that my perspective is similar to that of the interactionist view where through in-depth studies on the organisational behaviour, it is becoming highly accepted that conflict is becoming an integral and positive aspect for any structural organisation. I understood that a minimum amount of conflict is crucial and beneficial within the group to not operate in a non-responsive, static inadaptable and inflexible manner. The minimum amount of conflict helps in maintaining a particular level of self-evaluation, creativity and competition among different individuals. It will further result in enhanced group performance and the development of creative solutions for the challenges along with better outcomes (Wang, Zhang and Deng 2019).
This course prompted me to realise that I face significant challenges during a conflicting situation whenever it occurs within any given environment. Conflict resolution and dispute mediation are two of the important skills to possess which will further help me within business operations as it is a vital aspect of the same (Csilla 2019). It is so because even though there are procedures and policies as well as human resource representations who are knowledgeable in these aspects, it is crucial for the contentious processes among the colleagues and eliminating the obstacles which prevent resolutions and agreements among two individuals. It is important for me to realise that conflicting situations requires effective communication along with the willingness to listen to others’ perspective without interrupting their flow. It is crucial to participate in a controlled exchange for the resolution to be derived in a fair and smooth manner (Carton and Tewfik 2016).
There are several barriers that can be implemented unconsciously in a given situation that restricts the process of deriving an appropriate resolution for the conflicts such as getting defensive which is a natural reaction in a conflicting situation and often worsen the conflict as it limits the ability to understand and listen objectively. It is crucial to conduct a defenceless argument and communication. Another barrier that I have recognised is dismissing any topic as unimportant and unnecessary, as dismissing any given topic can be a negative sign during the conflict. Instead of the same, it is important to bind to the given topic and receive as much as information available for understand others’ perspectives on the matter clearly and also receive validation on being listened (Rahim and Katz 2019).
Upon reflection, I have recognised the conflict management style which I myself possess is compromising, which is an attempt to find resolution for any conflict in order to please all the individuals involved in the conflicting situation. Through this conflict management style, a middle group is looked for within all the demands and needs presented by both the individuals, even though some of it leave parties unsatisfied or receive a certain level of satisfaction. I have recognised that this particular style is appropriate for reaching a certain solution and especially when there is a time limit or when a temporary solution is required for the time being. I became aware that this style is majorly aimed to look for an expedient or mutually accepted problem solution which will satisfy both the parties while at the same time maintaining a certain level of cooperativeness and assertiveness. I realised that this particular conflict management style can be used when the outcome is not necessarily needed, however preserving or building relationship is crucial (Ayub et al. 2017).
On further reflection, along with compromising I deeply believe that collaboration can be an effective method for res oluting conflicts, where attempts are made to find a certain solution which will meet all the requirements because of which the conflicts have undertaken in the first place. Here, rather than attempting to look for a middle ground solution, the purpose is to look for solution which will genuinely satisfy the demands presented by the conflicting parties and there will be an implementation of win-win situation. I have realised that this particular style is useful when there are multiple perspectives involved which requires individual addressing or there is a crucial relationship present among the parties relating to the final solution which is of importance for the individual to be displeased or holding certain believes of individuals which requires addressing (Lewis, Heathershaw and Megoran 2018). Here, both assertiveness and cooperativeness is required for the collaboration at work as it identifies a solution which will fully satisfy concerns held by every individual. I believe that this particular style is more suitable for myself because it is opposite of the avoiding conflict resolution style, because in avoiding both the individuals do not reach a solution and feeling of negativity are maximised. However, I also understood that collaboration works best when there is a long term relationship present between the parties and outcome is the main motive (Soliku and Schraml 2018).
This course on conflict management prompted me to understand my own conflict related skills along with several other theories and concept that helps me develop this particular skill. Through this course I understood the meaning of conflict, the different phases involved, factors which affect an individual’s conflict style, along with understanding conflict within a workplace (Cronin and Bezrukova 2019). Managing conflict in workplace was taught and learnt during the time period and it deeply valued to my own self learning because it introduced to me with workplace conflict and the causes of conflicts, major objectives behind it along with different factors associated with it such as threatening values, criticism, roused emotions, team culture, different methods of resolving conflict based situation and how conflicts can affect an individual’s personal life (Charehzehi et al. 2017).
I learnt the 4 step model for resolving any conflicts and achieving win-win situation along with managing positively at workplace by achieving harmony, selection and training, appraising performances, effective communication, considering feedbacks, conducting briefing system and gaining respect from team as well as motivating and monitoring effectiveness. Continuing to reflect upon on the course, I further gained knowledge on resolving and recognising conflicting situations by counselling and mentoring, team mediations. Along with this, through different case studies I understood power and rights contest and interest reconciliation, wrong reflexes, distancing and coercion, self-mediation and resolving conflicts with two other individual and the cost which is associated with conflicts such as turnover, absenteeism, sabotage, and disability cost (Valente and Lourenço 2020).
I believed that I have achieved most of my goals, however, there are certain areas within this concept where I would need to improve my skills for the future prospects. For instance it is essential for me to understand which conflicts to be eliminated and which conflicts to be turned into a prospective. Along with that it is not always possible to reach a win-win situation even though the aim should be to achieve a settlement which will enable all the parties to believe that they have earned something of value from the negotiation. On further reflection, I recognised that I lack when it comes to effective communication which is one of the major skills to possess within a workplace and often helps in resolving majority of the small scale conflicts (Ramírez and Abad-Quintanal 2018).
I have greater awareness that I need to work on conducting a friendly yet straightforward manner of speaking during a certain conflicting situation in order to avoid miscommunication. Another skill within me with requires practicing and nurturing is problem solving skills, which can help during conflicting situation and lack of the same can worsen the situation because it will result in lack of viable solutions. With this skill, I will be able to develop creative solution which will result in a win-win situation and increase my brain-storming capabilities. It is a crucial skill to possess in this regards to conduct collaborations with other individuals along with seeking to have a complete understanding within the underlying the challenges and provide a fair solution. In order to improve these conflict resolution skills within me, I would require to participate in workshops hosted by experts in this field in order to polish some of my skills and to receive tools for the enhancement of these skills along with participating in role playing exercises, asking for feedback from an expert in this field and also take part in collaborations (Paresashvili et al. 2020).
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