Arguments are tiring; yet they can be fruitful. Take cue from two opposing prosecutors who are trying to prove their respective clients right. The end result of their argument often, if not always, results in justice. That’s what is called, conflict with an agenda or a purpose. Now that you got the idea about what’s good conflict, you would also agree that similar situations happen in an office environment too. You and your colleagues, or peers might not be always at the same page. Conflicts happen – but – if they are troublesome only if they are left unresolved.

CareerBuilder brings a few takeaways for better conflict management.


• Conflict as a Change Agent: Nothing changes without a push that opposes with a great force. Two conflicting situations are prerequisites to a revelation, or for a revolution. That said, every conflict may not bring about change. Sometimes, disagreements are simply a way of telling others that you do not support a certain decision or belief. Sometime, conflicts are only a result of miscommunication or misunderstandings at workplace.

• Conflict as a Sign of Participation: All that clashes is not always conflict. Discussions, debates, negotiations, disagreements, suggestions, and doubts, are a sign of employee engagement and participation in a company’s matters. A situation of conflict arises only when employee participation goes unappreciated. For example, if the objectives of sales are not aligned well with that of the Operations department, discussions and negotiations would be definitely required; otherwise, a conflict is sure to arise.

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The smart fish can always feel if something is about to go wrong. It receives the signal and acts proactively. While each fish is free to choose its own way, only the best one survives. Some choose to swim to newer waters while some train their school to endure or to fight. A simple strategy that the smart fish adopts to manage conflict better is mentioned as follows:

• Learn, Unlearn, Relearn: Learning about a situation is a static solution for a dynamic problem. Continuous learning is a more efficient solution to managing conflict. Since situations keep changing, so should be the ways of dealing with them. Unlearning your previous lessons about conflict management becomes an essential part of resolving a different conflict, which needs a fresh approach.

• Gain Insights: One needs complete information and insights about the situation, the originating point of the conflict, as well as the about the way a particular situation can be resolved. You should act only when you are backed by sufficient information and insights.

• Innovate: Tried and tested solutions to problems will get you very regular results. They might help you solve your dispute; however, those won’t be foolproof. Brainstorming and innovating fill in the gap between good to great – something that smart fish are called smart for.
To wrap it up, it would suffice to say that conflicts are like necessary bottlenecks that lead to the implementation of improved management control systems.

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