It doesn’t matter what you are doing or what your business is, when people work together, conflict is going to arise. There are a lot of things that can cause conflict like personal beliefs, management styles, separate goals, and their view of power. If you don’t manage and resolve conflicts, you are going to see a drastic decline in productivity and trust in your workplace. Small businesses will especially be damaged by this. There are a few different conflict management strategies that can help you minimize the damage done to your business when people don’t agree.
If one side of the conflict wants to keep the peace more than getting what it wants, you can use the accommodating strategy. It can be effective to give one side what it wants in order to keep the peace. This is not possible if both sides of the conflict think it is a major issue. Keeping workers happy by giving them casual Friday is an example of this. If you use this a lot, people might start to get resentful for having to give up things all the time.
Avoidance is another strategy to achieve long term goals. This essentially is just avoiding the conflict for as long as possible. Sometimes the conflict will resolve itself if it is given some time to breathe. An example of this is hiring a productive replacement for a popular but unproductive worker. When people see the difference in productivity, then will likely not be angry anymore.
Collaborating takes ideas from several different people and works them together in a way that makes everyone happy. This will take more time to get going and isn’t going to work on all conflict resolution. Small issues, like office supplies, don’t need collaboration, but larger issues, like business policies, will benefit from it If collaboration doesn’t work, you may want to try compromising. Compromising happens when both people give up things they want in order to meet on middle ground. This is an excellent strategy to use if both sides will lose something if an agreement isn’t met.
You may want to consider a competition in rare cases. This can cause a rift if used too often. Decisions that cause ill-will, like pay cuts or layoffs, would be an extreme example of when this might be necessary. No matter what challenges you face in your business, knowing how to resolve different conflicts will be crucial to your success. You will have to assess the different conflicts that arise in your workplace and decide which strategy i going to work the best to resolve it quickly.
What is conflict? Read this: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/conflict.