Conflicts are a part of everyone’s lives. Like it or not, everyone will experience it in their lifetimes, because it is inevitable. The term “conflict” itself is usually viewed as bad, damaging, and negative. However, conflict serves a social function; and at times, it could have a positive outcome. Positive conflicts are constructive ones. They increase a group’s solidarity, create a harmonious integration, produce new ideas, solve continuous problems, reduce dependence between individuals, and foster creativity.
These are 5 of the most common things that trigger conflicts within organizations: misunderstandings, dissent, poor communication, unfair treatments, and frustration, stress, and burnout. Although these things are inescapable, they can be minimized and with a little effort, stirred to have a positive outcome. Conflicts, especially in the workplace have to be resolved calmly so it would not create a tense or awkward ambiance within the office. To make conflicts positive, both parties (the leaders and the employees) have to work together.
As a leader, one needs to keep these things in mind. First, be objective. Working in the same company means everyone is a team, everyone is on the same side. So, a leader has to find solutions in which all team members “win”. Next, a leader has to focus on common interests. Rather than focusing on the differences, shift the spotlight to the common goals. And lastly, training. Training will improve the employees’ problem-solving, conflict resolution, and interpersonal communication skills. Also, it will reduce the likelihood of conflicts. As for the employees, 4 things are proven to make the best out of conflicts in the workplace:
- Understand and acknowledge that this is a situation that makes you uncomfortable
- Be honest with yourself
- Communicate it openly
- Reflect, evaluate and improve
When a group has managed to successfully pass a conflict, they would come out stronger and have a closer relationship as they would have a stronger trust and openness between the members. And above all those things that have been mentioned before, there is this one thing that is most effective in solving a conflict: tolerance.
Coser, L. A. (2001). The Functions of Social Conflict. New York: Routledge.
Gosnell, S. (2019, August 18). Positive Conflict in the Workplace. Retrieved from Exudeinc.com
By: Grace Thalenta Putri |2201789510
This article is based on a PR Lab practicum project for the Workplace Ethics & Behaviour course