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Conflict Management Styles

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Essay title: Conflict Management Styles

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 successfully manages to put conflicts and differences of opinion into a real life perspective.

To summarize our approach to direct conflict, I can assure you that we have tried all of the five different approaches to conflict management. The company originally tried the avoidance method. This method clearly did not work. It resulted in unhappiness, frustration and the eventual termination of employment of one employee. We do occasionally use the accommodation or compromise methods of dealing with conflict but realize that these are only temporary measures or a band-aid fix to a potentially larger problem.

We very rarely use formal authority to end conflict. In the type of business we are in there are often times no right or wrong answer to a particular problem and using authority to issue a directive can be a potentially damaging way to deal with a situation. Most of our issues need to be discussed and all parties in agreement in order to provide the best possible service to the client. In this way we are in a win-win situation. We have weekly staff meetings to discuss and address any issues that may be building up. Various solutions can be put on the table and tried at different intervals. If one method is chosen and does not seem to be working, it can be re-addressed at the following meeting until a positive result is achieved. In this way, we

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