Dealing with Conflicts in the Workplace

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Conflict Management Styles

Conflict occurs in organizations whenever a difference of opinions exists. People disagree over many things including but not limited to, policies and procedures, the overall direction of the company, and distribution of rewards. This type of conflict is substantive conflict, as described in our reading text organizational behavior as a, "fundamental disagreement over ends or goals to be pursued". The second type of conflict is emotional conflict; which involves, "interpersonal difficulties that arise over feelings of anger, mistrust, dislike, fear, resentment, and the like." This type of conflict occurs when two or more persons do not see eye to eye or simply do not get along for whatever reason.

I cannot abide in conflict. I hate confrontations and try to avoid them at all costs. However, I realize that in the business world, there will be differences of opinion and that in order to minimize the tension that results from said conflicts, it is appropriate to deal with any situations, perceived or otherwise, immediately. By acknowledging conflict in this way, we reduce the aftermath that such unresolved conflict can bring.

One of the more common ways that we tend to use to deal with potential conflict is appeal to the common goals of both the organization and its employees. Our managing director is not great at dealing with conflict and his preferred method is avoidance. However, since my induction in March of last year, I have encouraged him to deal with situations as and before they occur more. He can now see the benefits of this and works hard to deal with situations as or before they arise. If he senses unhappiness or potential conflict with regards to a situation, he now calls the person or persons in question in to his office to discuss. He encourages his employees to look at the bigger picture rather than the small one - the issue. By doing this and having them focus on the overall aim and objective of the company, he...
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