There a number of ways to deal with conflict in the workplace. As a project manager, it is important to consider numerous conflict resolutions strategies depending on the stakeholders that are concerned in the matter. Four types of conflict management styles to consider are competing, collaborating, compromising, and accommodating (Carnegie, 2013).
Competing takes place when the other party is forced to agree with a solution (Chestnut, 2007). This often results in a win-lose situation. Collaborating takes place when realize that the achievement of their goals is the most important aspect of the situation and find a result that is best for both parties and is viewed as a win-win situation (Chestnut, 2007). Compromise takes place when both parties meet in the middle, but give something up in the process, and is viewed as a win-win situation (Chestnut, 2007). Accommodating takes place when one party yields to the other party and can be considered a lose-win situation (Chestnut, 2007).
Conflict is not also a negative aspect within the workplace. Conflict can be a source of growth and transformation for the parties involved (Carnegie, 2013). It often occurs in the workplace due to conflicting goals or priorities (Carnegie, 2013). Other sources of conflict involve resources, styles and values, however when other stakeholders are concerned, goals may be the major source of conflict.
Conflict in the workplace can also lead to frustration and poor productivity if the situation is not handled properly (Smith, 2013). People are less willing to be productive, if conflict is always handled as a lose-lose situation. It can lower morale for the parties involved.
First, as a project manager, it is important to consider how to deal with conflicts concerning senior management. Senior management, in essence, is the boss. Disagreeing with the boss can sometimes lead to termination. In this scenario, it is important to be accommodating. Yield to the management if it seems important to them. However, if their ideas do not seem to fit well with the project, then a compromise may be in order, but this situation must be handled delicately.
Conflict with clients can also be solved in a couple manners. Everyone knows that the customer is always right. So again accommodation is important, however not always viable for the business. Compromise can also work with the client. If the client knows that the business is also giving something up in the process, this may lead to satisfaction.
Now when it comes to the project team, conflict can be handled differently. It is important to collaborate with the team. Hear all ideas, and combine them to come up with the best way to meet the goals. Brainstorming is useful with the team. Competing can also arise when leading a team. Sometimes the project manager will have to make the decision without the input of the team. It depends on deadlines more so then any other aspect of the position.
It is not always easy to control conflicts with a group of people working together to reach a common goal (Conflict in the workplace, 2012). It takes hard work and the ability to read the situation in order to choose the correct style. There are multiple conflict resolution styles and different ways to handle different stakeholders.
Carnegie, D. (2013). Five conflict management stylaes at a glance. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from Sources of insight: http://www.sourcesofinsight.com
Chestnut, R. &. (2007, January 9). Conflict management for teams. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from Conflict article: http://www.uni.edu
Conflict in the workplace. (2012). Retrieved April 24, 2013, from Conflict resolution strategies: http://www.conflictresolution-strategies.com
Smith, G. (2013). Conflict resolution: 8 strategies to manage workplace conflict. Retrieved April 24, 2013, from Business know-how: http://www.businessknowhow.com