The success of any relationship or a professional team depends on how well the members can harness differing qualities and capabilities each one of them possesses for the common good of the family or the organisation. Irrespective of the relationship people are bound by conflicts will always be there due to differences of belief, behaviour, opinion, interests, personal experience, or ambition. The future of a relationship will normally depend on the way two people decide to handle and resolve differences. Both in personal and professional lives the steps taken to resolve the differences are same; one to one communication and discussion, stepping in of the family elders or the boss/ office senior and finally if everything else fails seeking professional help. A conflict can both be a relationship breaker or an enhancer depending on reason leading to it and the method adopted to resolve it.
Ways to resolve…
Managing the emotions. Emotions tend to go out of control at the onset of any conflict and even the most sensible attempts on finding a solution is not likely to have the desired affect rather it may lead to worsening of situation. Hence, it is better to allow the tempers to cool before attempting reconciliation.
Understanding. Most problems have their root cause in small misunderstandings which are accentuated/ aggravated by the inability of the affected individuals to understand the root cause, rather most do not make sincere attempts to understand and nip the problem in the bud. A workable solution can only be found after the underlying factors are understood; even the family elders and the office bosses should not step into the arena till they have got a clear idea of what has gone wrong. The cause whether it is ambition, style of working, belief, behaviour will dictate the solution; there are no set templates for resolving conflicts.
Communication. Many conflicts arise due to lack of communication or miscommunication. Whether a conflict will be resolved or not depends on what, why, how, and when a communication has been made. A wilful transition from ‘You have not understood my viewpoint’ to’ Maybe I was not able to convey my viewpoint to you in the manner I should have’ will certainly have the desired effect to douse the fire. The first casualty of any conflict is the breakdown of communication and setting in of mistrust. A free flow of communication from the beginning in the form of discussions and feedbacks will help in keeping the fire under control. If channels of communication are open an answer can always be found as long as the parties understand that it is not ‘I am right, you are wrong’ game. Having the patience to listen is an important aspect of communication and conflict management, one got to listen to understand and not to find faults.
Blame game. Focus should be on resolving the problem and not on fixing the blame, unfortunately in most cases it is the opposite. Whenever a crisis or conflict occurs most of us get busy with finding reasons for fixing the blame on the other party and looking for justification for our own actions instead of finding ways to resolve the problem. The way ahead lies in discussions and working together to find the solutions. Do not make things personal or visit the past to pull out ‘garbage’ the opponent or the spouse might have accumulated; the resolution lies in the now.
Harness the Conflict for Success. A team which understands that their strength lies in positively managing the different abilities and thoughts each member possesses, always excels. Each member should be encouraged to express, question, and contribute while understanding the need to avoid the questioning from blowing over.
Facing the Conflict. Most conflicts take time to resolve because the effected parties and the bosses/ elders fail to take on the conflict head-on, most prefer the ‘avoidance’ technique with the belief that ‘time is the biggest healer’ and ‘ the conflict will die on its own’. Unfortunately, it does not happen that way, a solution does not find its own way, attempts must be made to find it.
Some leaders want to avoid the unpleasantness any attempt to resolve the conflict might raise between them and the other individuals while they fear the adverse consequences this unpleasantness might have on the final desired outcome, in the process they fail to understand the long term negative effect the conflict might have on the future of the organisation.
Professional help. Market is full of experts who are willing to rent out their services for resolving the conflicts in organisations or families. As per felt need these services can be hired to resolve problems and get the relationship or production back on track. Depending on the gravity of the problem at hand the coaches may take from few days to months to help the affected parties in finding the relevant answers.
A conflict which is harming the relationship between individuals or the productivity of the organisation should not be allowed to linger on for long; all efforts must be made to find a solution at the earliest. Communication is the main stay in any conflict resolution technique, if the communication is on a solution can always be found.