Showing posts with label Levels of Conflict. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Levels of Conflict. Show all posts

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Conflict Resolution -Top 8 tips to resolve conflict

Conflict Resolution -Top 8 tips to resolve conflict

Conflict Resolution -Top 10 tips to resolve conflict from Mediate to Go

Introduction to Conflict Resolution

Man must evolve for all human conflict, a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Definition of Conflict

What is conflict? Conflict means “discord of action, feeling, or effect; antagonism or opposition, as of interests or principles”, and an “incompatibility or interference, as of one idea, desire, event, or activity with another”  ( Other words for conflict include collision and opposition. Conflict often leads to a great deal of pain, leaving people wanting inner peace.

Areas and levels of conflict

Conflict can take place in interpersonal relationships within the family and in the outside world, and at various other levels, including intrapersonal conflict (conflict within the self), departmental, organizational, community-based, regional-based, national and international conflicts.

Often, conflicts take place at varying levels at the same time. For example, you might have a conflict at work with a colleague, but at the same time, the organization, by failing to address the issue right away, creates a conflict between yourself and the organization. Here are some examples of levels of conflict in an organizational setting.

Conflict Escalation

The most challenging part of conflict relates to conflict escalation. Typically, conflict escalates between parties so that issues become bigger than necessary, parties become increasingly angry with one another, they focus on blaming each other and issues become increasingly complex and difficult to resolve. Even if parties want to fix the relationship, it becomes increasingly difficult.

Ways to address conflict. Formal vs. Informal (alternative dispute resolution)

In many areas of life, the traditional way of resolving an issue was to fight in court. Whether its divorce or a workplace dispute, parties would file a complaint or an action in court to address the issue. This type of approach, including labour arbitration, is adversarial, rights based and more formal. Parties ask a third party to make a decision, often leading to a win-lose situation. Read about the differences between mediation and arbitration. On the other hand, conflict resolution is now more about alternative dispute resolution, this means issues are addressed outside of formalized processes. Parties try to fix their relationship and resolve issues in a non-adversarial way, and only resort to a formal approach if the informal is unsuccessful.

Top 10 tips to resolve conflict

  1. Don’t avoid the conflict. You might fear conflict and confrontation due to a fear of being rejected. Conflict can be positive for you, your relationships and your organization. Conflict can actually be good for business, leading to innovation. The key is to build your confidence to address the issue. Know that everything will work out.
  2. Manage your anger. Take some time to breath, relax and reflect, if you feel you might explode. Ideally, you bring up your feelings immediately in the situation, if you feel safe. However, there is nothing wrong with finding the right time to discuss an issue. This can reduce the likelihood of escalation.
  3. Reflect, don’t blame. We have the tendency to blame others. If you try hard, you can put yourself in the other’s shoes. What might they have felt in the situation? How would it have felt for them. It’s uncomfortable, but put time and effort into this.
  4. Don’t stay if it’s a destructive relationship. Is the conflict reoccurring? Think about whether the conflict is destructive. Sometimes we stay in destructive relationships, but no matter the resolution, it will be short lived without addressing the deeper issues. If you can’t decide if you should divorce or not, read about how to choose between mediation and therapy.
  5. Learn about negotiation and how to negotiate. Often, conflict resolution requires people to negotiate to ask what they are looking for.
  6. Confront the person in a respectful way. We call this a constructive confrontation, where we prepare to discuss our concerns with someone in a respectful way, focusing on our feelings, not blaming the other.
  7. Take leadership in the situation. Become a self-leader in conflict resolution. To be a self-leader, you need to be powerful. Follow our LEADER acronym to address issues effectively to resolve conflicts in your life.
  8. Learn about conflict resolution and how to fix a relationship. Listen to our Top 10 songs about conflict to learn about typical types of conflict, and ways that people typically resolve issues.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Levels of Conflict Levels of Conflict
To fully understand organizational conflict, it is important to distinguish the types and levels of conflict. While many of these types of conflict apply to organizations, they may also apply outside of that context. The text Organizational Behavior by Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn (2000) was helpful in providing a framework of organizational terms.

The following are types of conflict, which are the medium within which conflict occurs in organizations.
  • Intra-organizational conflict is an umbrella term for any type of conflict that takes place within one organization.
  • Interpersonal conflict is one of the lowest levels of conflict, taking place between two or more individuals within the organization who are oppose one another, knowingly or not. Sometimes one employee may be frustrated with their boss, but never bring forward their concern.
  • Intra-group conflict is conflict exists between members of one particular group, say members of a hiring committee that don’t agree a new candidate.
  • Inter-group conflict is conflict among members of two or more different groups, such as between management and employees.
  • Inter-departmental conflict is similar, but at the level of departments.
  • Inter-organizational conflict occurs between different organizations, such as between two competing firms in an industry. Levels of Conflict
Within these various levels, conflicts can have various dynamics and directions. It’s useful to understand in which category a conflict belongs in order to take into account every individual involved and the power dynamics at play.
  • Vertical conflict occurs between hierarchical levels, say between management and employees.
  • Horizontal conflict, on the other hand, takes place between different individuals, groups or departments at the same hierarchical level, say between two competing departments that have similar power and authority in different areas.

Specific types of conflict within these vertical and horizontal levels include the following common types.
  • Line-staff conflict is conflict about who has power and official authority over specific tasks and processes.
  • Role conflict is about expectations of tasks, primarily when they are not communicated effectively or the communication given is not received effectively. Work-flow interdependency conflict takes place when groups and individuals that are inter-dependent (rely on one another) must collaborate together but fail to do so effectively.
  • Domain ambiguities or role-conflict take place when people or teams are put in unclear situations and they do not understand who must take responsibility.
  • Resource scarcity conflicts, a common type of conflict in organizations, takes place where resources are scarce, such as during financial constraints or even if office space is limited, creating conflicts between individuals, teams and departments.
  • Power or value asymmetries are conflicts at a fundamental level, where people that rely on one another are seemingly starkly different from each other in the areas of status, values or influence.
Visit to self-resolve your conflicts, or to find a mediator to help you resolve more complex issues.

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