A Study on the Mental Setup of the Working People in Managing Conflict Through Soft Skills with Special Reference to Gender

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A Study on the Mental Setup of the Working People in Managing Conflict through Soft Skills with special reference to Gender Senthil K. Nathan & Dr. Sw. Rajamanoharane Department of Management Studies J.J. College of Engineering and Technology Tiruchirappalli 620 001, Tamil Nadu, India senknat@yahoo.com, swrksr@gmail.com

Abstract The term Conflict is an inseparable one in everybody’s life. Conflict is defined as a struggle or contest between people with opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals. Workplaces are frequently characterized by a variety of destructive conflicts, the intensity of the damage depends on the nature and duration of the conflict. Conflict occurring at a personal level may cause severe damage to the organisation also. Interpersonal skills play a vital role in managing conflict. Conflict on teams is inevitable; however, the results of conflict are not predetermined. Conflict might escalate and lead to nonproductive results, or conflict can be beneficially resolved and lead to quality final products. This paper attempts to explain the concepts of Managing Conflict through Soft Skills among the working people and the differences in dealing Conflict with or without gender bias. Keywords: Conflict Management, Working people, Gender, Soft Skills, Interpersonal Skill 1. Introduction Conflict According to Harigopal K. [1] Conflict is an inevitable part of human existence. Conflict occurs within an individual (intra-individual), between individuals (inter-individual), among and within groups of individuals (inter – and intra-group), and between societies and nations (macro level). Conflict is as old as human existence. Conflicts, at the macro level, have destroyed societies and also have created them. Inappropriately managed conflicts at the organizational and individual levels have resulted in dysfunctional consequences for both, while effectively managed conflicts have contributed to mutual survival, growth and well-being. Types of Conflict According to K.A. Jeh [2] Conflicts that support the goals of the group and improve its performance are called functional or constructive forms of conflict. The conflicts that hinder group performance are called dysfunctional or destructive forms of conflict. The difference between functional and dysfunctional conflict is the type of conflict. Specifically there are three types: task – Conflicts over content and goals of the work; relationship-Conflict based on interpersonal relationships and process-Conflict over how work gets done.

The Conflict Process According to Thomas [3], There are five stages of Conflict Process. They are – Potential opposition or incompatibility; Cognition and personalization; Intentions; Behaviour and Outcomes. The five conflict handling intentions: Competing, Collaborating, Compromising, Avoiding and Accommodating. Conflict Management According to Thomas [3], Conflict can be handled in five different ways. They are Competing-A desire to satisfy one’s interests, regardless of the impact on the other party to the conflict; Collaborating-A situation in which the parties to a conflict each desire to satisfy fully the concerns of all parties; Compromising-A situation in which each part to a conflict is willing to give up something; Avoiding-The desire to withdraw from or suppress a conflict and Accommodating-The willingness of one party in a conflict to place the opponent’s interest above his or her own. Soft Skills According to S.A.W. Bukari [4] Soft Skills can be defined as one which helps an individual to be aware of his strengths, weaknesses, manage the feelings, control the disruptive behavior, sharpen the creative ability, build relationship with others, influence the others and solve the problems related to work. 2. BACKGROUND Miscommunication in workplace leads to conflict. According to [5] intended message is frequently mis-communicated, misunderstood, mis-quoted or even missed altogether because of ineffective interpersonal...
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