Conflict Resolution – 4 Types of Conflicts at Work

Conflict resolution is the most essential skill that you need to have if you want to grow in your professional as well as personal life. It is almost inevitable to avoid conflict at work. You may either need to intervene in an argument between two members of your team or you may find yourself angry on something your co-worker has done or said. In any of the scenarios, good conflict management tools are essential.

Learning conflict resolution skills is the key to preventing it from hampering your team to grow professionally.  As a team lead, you need to know the different types of conflicts that teams experience and how to resolve them. Conflicts or disagreements occur in the dissatisfaction stage where your team recognizes the difference between expectation and realism.

What is Conflict Resolution?

conflict resolution through negotiation

Conflict resolution can be defined as a technique to find a peaceful solution for a disagreement between two or more parties. This disagreement can be personal, emotional, financial or political.

Negotiation is the best approach to resolve any conflict or disagreement. The main objective of negotiation here is to find out a solution that all parties can agree with and to improve the relationship between the groups in conflict. With negotiation, you can quickly find the solution to the problem.

Types of Conflicts Team Commonly Experiences

Here are four types of conflicts that teams of professional experience commonly, and how to resolve them to help your team move forward.

  1. Conflict over Positions, Strategies or Opinions
  2. Mistrust or Miscommunication
  3. Personality Clashes
  4. Power Issues or Personal Agendas

1. Conflict over Positions, Strategies or Opinions

This type of conflict arises when two or more strong but different positions are argued in a group and it is getting nowhere. In this case, a team leader can intervene and ask each member of the group to take a turn in talking with no interruption, and explain their point of view. The other members will silently listen, try to understand what the person is saying and why he is saying that, and then repeat what they heard.

With this exercise, the leader makes sure that each member of the group is being heard. After this exercise, one can easily look for concerns or goals that people have in common. The team can work on common interest and the whole focus will shift from conflict to problem-solving.

2. Mistrust or Miscommunication

An effective communication skill is the key in any workplace. This is the reason why companies put so much effort in the communication skills of their teams. Poor communication is the root cause of conflict not only at the workplace but in general as well. Ineffective or poor communication can result in misunderstandings, missed opportunities and missed deadlines.

We cannot emphasize enough how much crucial live communication is. We all send quick emails and text messages to our colleagues assuming that they will be received the way they were meant. However, all such forms of digital communication can easily get lost in translation. Therefore, if you have something important to share, pick up the phone and speak to the person directly.

3. Personality Clashes

There are many behavioral assessment tools available that a team leader can use to help his team better understand each other and learn to work together. Personality clashes occur when two or more members of your team are in conflict because of the fundamental incompatibility of their personalities.

Experts say that you cannot change your colleague or their behaviors but you can change your actions. Resolving conflicts due to personality clashes is a delicate process.

To know what two people are arguing about is not that much important here as it is just the tip of the iceberg. The important thing here is to know what is underneath that is causing the conflict. For this, a leader needs to have two core skills: one is empathetic listening and the second is the ability to reflect back things in a positive way.

4. Power Issues and Personal Agendas

Sometimes, you may also need to deal with the conflict that arises due to some power issues or personal agendas. Such types of conflict must be handled before carrying out most tasks. These types of conflicts do not happen often, however, when needed and if dealt with correctly, the team can take a huge leap forward.

Business Coaching or Conflict Resolution

Conflicts if channeled properly can be healthy for the team. The key to success here is to know how and when to intervene. With a business coaching service, you can successfully resolve conflicts between your team members. If you are facing problems in resolving conflicts between your teams, you can take professional help.

Our business coaches and executive coaches are trained to help you learn the ways to better manage your team. We offer team coaching as well. MUMKIN is a team of professional business coaches with years of experience, and we can help you resolve conflict at your workplace.

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