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5 Different Ways of Handling Conflict Within Your Organization

Your entrepreneurial skills have led you to successfully establish a business where your ability to see opportunity has already started to reap benefits. Your product and service are in demand, and you have the team to ensure the smooth operation of your business and maintain customer satisfaction. But under the surface, there seems to be unrest. Certain staff members seem demoralized, and when you get to the bottom of it, you discover friction between individuals.

This is an inevitable scenario because of the various personality types that one finds in all organizations. In this article, we will look at the different conflict-handling styles and group dynamics. You will find that although people have different qualities, it is possible to balance personalities. We will see that these personality differences can complement each other if they are willing to adapt.

Conflict Handling Styles

Before looking at group dynamics, let’s start with how people of different temperaments handle interpersonal conflict. According to Thomas and Kilmann (1972), these are the different ways in which people deal with disputes:

1. Competing

Individuals who use this way of handling conflict are dominant personality types. One has to convince their way is not the only solution. Their ambition closes them off to other suggestions. They see everything as an “I win, you lose” scenario and become hostile towards others when they feel challenged. One benefit of this personality type is that they can make it without worrying about others’ feelings when a quick decision is needed.

2. Avoiding

These employees avoid conflict and tend to go along with what everyone else says. However, in the long-term, their unobtrusive nature leads to bitterness towards much more forceful personality types. They have valuable input that could be the best answer to a situation, but they fail to share it. A positive attribute of this style is that individuals don’t waste time trying to resolve issues of little consequence; it can also help to calm an atmosphere filled with tension.

3. Accommodating

Individuals who fall into this category are eager to help other people even if they have to change their plans. By constantly agreeing to the requests of others, they neglect their own needs creating the chance for opportunists to take advantage of their eagerness to please nature. This personality characteristic helps resolve trivial issues quickly, allowing for more essential issues to be dealt with.

4. Compromising

This style of handling conflict is where the individual looks for a win-win scenario where both parties get parts of what they want by giving up other things. This give-and-take attitude helps to reach goals amicably by finding mutually acceptable solutions. This style works best at resolving complex issues where there is no clear solution.

5. Collaborating

An individual with this personality type values everyone’s contribution, including their own. For them, achieving harmony in the workplace is what matters. They achieve their goals assertively but not aggressively and encourage open dialogue when problem-solving.

 Group Dynamics

Now that we’ve seen how different personalities handle conflict, you’re better positioned to help avoid animosity by delegating accordingly when you assign tasks. Your company benefits from smoothly run operations and quality work, creating the space your business needs to grow.

Let’s look at how you can further enhance your company’s performance by recognizing at what stage your company is in so that you’re in a position to track your company’s progress. Psychologist Bruce Tuckman identified the following steps of people coming together to form functional groups. Business owners and department managers can use these to encourage effective teamwork.

 Forming

A new employee will have feelings of apprehension from being in an unfamiliar environment. They may also have concerns about meeting the requirements of their role. As a business owner or manager, it is your responsibility to introduce the new person to the team and help establish connections. It is essential to reiterate the company’s vision and everyone’s role in achieving it to the entire team.

 Storming

This stage is where individual team members get to know each other through working together and where staff has the opportunity to express themselves through their work and test boundaries. As the organization or department leader, you can manage the inevitable group conflict that follows the forming stage by grouping complementary personality types together.

 Norming

Employees will have established their roles within their department and within the business. They will need to have identified their strengths and weaknesses and be aware of other team members’ qualities. Equipped with this knowledge, staff can be proactive about what tasks they can take on and which tasks need to be done by a more suitable colleague.

 Performing

This is the level where your staff is performing at its full potential. Team members cooperate with each other to reach shared company objectives. During this phase, the team has already achieved a level of success. It aims for higher ideals by identifying industry opportunities as well as threats.

In this article, we’ve seen how to drive your company’s success by managing your human resources by recognizing different conflict management styles depending on the outcome you seek. We also looked at how groups are continuously changing and how to channel your team’s energy to get to the point where operations are streamlined so that your company grows in its capacity and worth.

Sources:

https://nobelexplorers.com/conflict-management/

https://www2.waisman.wisc.edu/cedd//WiFLI_S3/THOMAS_KILMANNConflictStyles.pdf

Mary Francois Robinson on Linkedin
Mary Francois Robinson
Staff Writer: Mary Francois is a writer with a strong footing in the adult learning space. Her focus is creating valuable content based on her experience in business development. She takes inspiration from Maya Angelou’s wise words, ‘when you learn, teach. When you grow, give.’

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Find Your Way · Grow Your Business · Leading Your Team · Your Mindset
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Staff Writer: Mary Francois is a writer with a strong footing in the adult learning space. Her focus is creating valuable content based on her experience in business development. She takes inspiration from Maya Angelou’s wise words, ‘when you learn, teach. When you grow, give.’

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