Companies are always environments based on coordinated work, which has positive ad negative points. The positive point is that coordination of teams and departments can create great things thanks to the generated synergies, and the bad thing is that the need for organization facilitates the appearance of conflicts between groups and people.
That is why, it is crucial for the leaders of any organization to develop conflict management competencies. Faced with this kind of problem, the solution is never as simple as making sure everything works perfectly or taking decisive measures unilaterally.
How to improve conflict management in organizations
Each organization is unique and has its own working environment, but that does not mean that there are no basic rules of conflict management that should always be taken into account. In the following lines we will see different key ideas to manage conflicts in the company, and tips on how to apply them.
1. Do not rekindle old conflicts
Conflicts in the context of the company do not occur in the abstract, but emerge through human beings of flesh and blood with their own motivations and emotions. That is why we must prevent the possibility of taking advantage of present conflict to rekindle old grudges, something more frequent than it seems even in a professional environment.
Therefore, we must stop the changes of topic at the root and insist that everyone focus on the current problem, given that its importance requires it.
2. Know how to mediate and adopt a position of neutrality
It is important to empathize and recognize the feelings experienced by the people involved, but it is important not to position oneself explicitly in favor of one of the parties, since the mere fact of doing so may nullify our ability to mediate.
We must ensure that what we do when mediating is seen within the framework of common interest, which goes beyond individualities.
3. Claim the value of intermediate solutions
Many times, the proposed solutions do not convince anyone because they do not become exactly what you wanted. However, we must know how to make the idea known to everyone that achieving an intermediate solution in which everyone gains a little and at the same time yields a little bit is valuable.
The reason is that this allows the unity of the team to be maintained without anyone owing anything to anyone, which in the long term has a positive effect on everyone.
4. Nobody wants to be “the loser”
There are times in which to resolve a conflict must give compensation to all involved, although for some it is symbolic. In this way, the fear is relieved that this will be seen by all as a sign of weakness that could set a precedent so that in the future their needs and objectives are not taken into account.
5. It is necessary to start from the values of the company
If you do not want to transmit an inconsistent image of what the organization is, it is crucial not to take actions that go against the values of the organization.
If in a company cooperation is claimed and individualism is rejected, it does not make sense to solve something behind closed doors, talking only with a few representatives of the parties involved in the conflict, for example. Otherwise, uncertainty is fed and it is reported that the company is an unstable environment in which it is better not to place much hope.
6. It is necessary to take care of what is said and what is done
Another source of possible inconsistencies has to do with resolving conflicts only in words, without this being translated into concrete measures. Doing that means falling into the error of letting these problems be solved unofficially through informal channels, which damages the working environment.