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conflict resolution

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Many a time you have ruffled feathers or better put, rubbed shoulders at home, school or workplaces. Maybe, the raging war is within you as an individual. Do you hence feel like the earth should stop spinning for a moment before you can gather momentum to carry on with life? Things do not have to be this way. There are better ways of ending whatever stalemate you are in. Whatever you are experiencing right now is what is technically referred to as a conflict.

The term conflict can be loosely defined as any disagreement arising from the presence of opposing or antagonistic views regarding a particular situation. There are various levels of conflict ranging from simple misunderstandings to complex, escalated disagreements that prompt stress.

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The source of a conflict depends on the setting-environment. Some of the commonly identified reasons include:

1. Undefined responsibilities
Is your organization characterized by mayhem because of this one employee x who is everywhere but nowhere in particular? Today he might be at the stores and tomorrow at the entry. You should bear in mind that lack of specialization within your company or organization can easily flare up tempers resulting in disagreements. You are thus likely to end up with a rowdy mob in the name of employees.

2. Communication break-down
Do all your employees give back feedback on whatever issues that you discuss with them? Or you are this snobbish Mr. or Mrs. Right and Know-it-all calibre who trashes their opinions all the time? Then you are lying to yourself if you think you are headed in the right direction. Feedback and full involvement of your employees in all major decisions is key to averting any future misunderstandings.

3. Biasness/ unfairness
Every human being deserves some appreciation no matter how mediocre and dispensable they may be. The question is, do you acknowledge your employees equally? Failure to give enough credit where it deserves can lead to conflicts within your company.

4. Unrealistic expectations
Another key point you should note is what your employees expect from you and the organization at large. If you give them an illusion regarding salary increments, wages or work conditions then they cannot simply decipher the chemistry behind your failure to meet these expectations and this is likely to trigger disputes.

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Even though conflict management is strongly advocated for, unlike conflict resolution, at times things can get out of hand. In such a situation, you will be obliged to opt for pacifism or forgiveness. The following conflict resolution strategies can be of great help:

1. Surrender
This conflict resolution style can quickly diffuse the problem at hand. It just requires little courage and some cooperation. You just need to down your tools and declare that whatever may come, it is well with your soul.

2. Withdrawal
It requires you to avoid the conflict altogether and pretend that it was never there in the first place. This is also referred to as stone-walling. No guts required, only hypocrisy.

3. Compromise
It involves both parties/disputants foregoing their pride and other privileges in a bid to arrive at a common ground. Its merit is that it leaves both parties fully satisfied.

4. Collaboration
It needs you to listen to your perceived adversary and expounding on agreement areas.

5. Persistence
It demands a lion guts. This way presents the freedom to maintain your views and fail to come down from your high horse. The disadvantage is it only has short term benefits. It does not cater for the future.

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