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Managing Conflict in the Workplace

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Eugene Sandona

on 20 June 2013

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Transcript of Managing Conflict in the Workplace

Negative Outcomes Positive Outcomes Conflict at the Workplace Design of conflict management systems needs to move away from a “one size fits all” approach.Every organization is different.
Conflict management practices need to be compatible with the organization’s objectives, existing culture and organization structure. Task Related Conflict Recent Research: The Conflict over Conflict Management Minimizing Workplace Conflicts Great communication skills are extremely important,
Emotional intelligence can also help.
Deal with the bad apples
Help employees get to know each other
Reward positive role models
Make good hiring choices Resolving Conflict Facts and Data Individual interpretation
Communication errors Methods Values Dependance Tips for Difficult People Company policies and procedures
Unwritten company rules
“coffee video” example Cause:
Different styles in management

Use "your turn, my turn" technique
Find a common ground
Move forward Purpose:
What's your goal? Incompatible goals lead to conflict
Creates uncertainty
Reduces progress

Different goals

Clarify your purpose
Prioritize Not easy to manage
Strong convictions
Company Culture Cause:

Weak Company culture structure


Clarify company's values
Align with company's goals. Working with others
Sequence of work Cause:

Fragile organizational structure


Create a strong foundation
Set limits
Follow through

Conflict Handling Mistakes Cold Shoulder Backstabbing Memory Lane Social Zinger Trivia Fights Having the Last Word Example:
A memo was sent to the receiving department about changing delivery days from Monday to Wednesday. On Wednesday a delivery arrived 3 hours late. No one was aware of the change because it was not included on the memo. Cause: Incomplete data

Keep your audience in mind
Review your information before you make it public Types
Dependance Negative Outcomes
Positive Outcomes
Tips for Difficult People Minimizing Conflict
Resolving Conflict
The Conflict over Conflict Management The End Example: A retail store manager thinks that profits can be increased by reducing payroll. The assistant manager thinks that profits can be increased by investing in a new marketing campaign. Direct costs include:
Sick and stress leaves
Sabotage, theft
Hiring as employees leave and restructuring.
Indirect costs include:
Manager and human resources time
Employee time,
Lack of cooperation
Wasting resources
Productivity costs and reputation costs. Better understanding of others (77%)
It created better solutions to problems (57%)
Improved working relationships (54%)
Boosted team performance (40%)
Increased motivation (31%)
Increased creativity, Led to major innovation (21%) Example:

A cashier is told by one supervisor that speed is the most important goal for the department while another supervisor wants focus on customer service. Six Difficult Personality Types Example:
A co-worker is allowed to ask for contributions for a particular charity. However, 3 months ago you were not allowed to sell raffle tickets for your daughter's field trip.
How would feel? Tanks and Exploders Know-It-Alls Wet-Blankets and Fire-Hosers Super-Agreeable Charmers Clans and Indecisives Example:

A Sales employee takes too long reporting monthly sales which delays the company's accountant. Surprise Effect Be Calm Understand their intentions Make your position clear Be Respectful Focus on Actions Bring it over their head Research shows, that most conflicts in organization are resolved by :
Compromising with parties involved(26%)
Encouraging open communication in organization (18%)
Mediation approach (16%)
Management applies more than one approach to resolve conflicts in organizations. (Ongori Henry , 2009. Organisational Conflict and its Effects on Organisational Performance. Research Journal of Business Management, 3: 16-24.) (Christopher, B. (2012). Bambi vs. Godzilla: How to Deal with Difficult People. Business Credit, 114(2), 8-10.) (DAVID B. LIPSKY AND ARIEL C. AVGAR: The Conflict over Conflict Management, DISPUTE RESOLUTION JOURNA L, May/October 2010) Snipers Task Conflict Relationship Conflict Conflict over work Conflict between people
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