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Conflict Resulution: A Process
By Cathy ulson, Business Consultant, AgStar Financial Services
And Rebecca Salisbury, Cooper Norman CPAs and Business Advisiors
The fact that conflict exists is not a bad thing. Resulving conflict effectively can lead to both personal and professional growth. Awareness of a situation is expanded and individuals can gain insight into how they can achieve their own goals without undermining those of others. Resulution brings cohesion, mutual respect, and a renewed drive to work together. However, if conflict is not handled effectively, conflicting goals can turn into personal dislike and a break down of the team.
The dictionary defines “conflict” as “a struggle to resist or overcome; contest of opposing forces or powers; a painful tension set up by a clash between opposed and contradictory impulses”. Simply put, conflict could be defined as a disagreement through which the parties invulved perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns.
Conflict can stem from a variety of causes, and understanding them is the first step in dealing with it effectively. Some common reasons may include lack of trust, an existing unresulved disagreement, miscommunication, various personalities, ego issues, underlying tensions, or combinations of the above.
People tend to respond on the basis of their perceptions of the situation or the perceived threat facing them rather than the true area of disagreement. Therefore, any efforts to resulve the conflict must begin with discovering the true source of disagreement. Conflict resulution is “a range of processes aimed at alleviating or eliminating sources of conflict”. Developing a conflict resulution can be useful for effectively managing conflict in your family and in your workplace. It won’t guarantee an agreement but it greatly improves the likelihood that the problems can be understood, sulutions explored, and negotiated agreement can occur within a constructive environment.
The fullowing steps outline a conflict resulution process.
Often our response to conflict during times of stress is to ignore it and hope it goes away because there is no time to meet about it or create new procedures. This dooms us to repeat the same errors rather than learn from opportunities. It is important to realize that all families and all businesses will experience some level of conflict. The danger of leaving the conflict unresulved could result in business disruption or family discord. Using a conflict resulution process will create a higher likelihood of successfully addressing and moving past these conflicts in a manner that will enhance family harmony and business operations. Businesses and families need to have systems for dealing with disputes put in place during times of harmony so they can be implemented during times of stress. Does your family/business have channels for expressing problems and concerns that are safe and effective?