Conflict Management| Finding Constructive Solutions
The term “conflict” is always perceived as a negative attribute. When diverse individuals get together, there are going to be differences. These various beliefs and differing opinions sometimes do clash, creating conflict. Transforming the situation from a negative to a positive productive learning experience is key here. Having healthy and constructive feedback during a conflict situation is a component of high-functioning teams, something every organization should master. It is important to take those differences and direct them towards the good of the organization, positively.
Constructive Solutions for Conflict:
- Keep Communication Open: An organization that allows for open communication gives individuals confidence to express themselves in a safe and healthy manner. Active listening is essential when conflict arises, that way there is a clear understanding of both parties. A person needs to be heard, people build trust as they are listened to. Actively promote your board to voice their opinions, concerns, and suggestions at all times.
- Have a Well-Established Structure: Make sure your organization has an established structure that encompasses standard policies and practices. It is important that all members understand their role in the organization. All organizations should have a conflict resolution policy, that should be followed when conflict arises.
- Run Tightly Structured Meetings: Meetings bring together all members to work towards a collaborative effort of bettering an organization and helping it with its mission. Establish a meeting agenda to avoid off-topic discussions. When you have a meeting agenda in place, individuals will know what to expect for all upcoming meetings, and less of a chance for them to pursue their own agenda. If you need to extend a topic-discussion take a vote from everyone in the meeting to either move on or continue with that topic.
- Mediator: If outside help is needed hire a professional mediator to assist parties in conflict to achieve satisfying agreements. When conflict arises, mediation is the best tool to help in obtaining a resolution. Mediation allows the participants to control their own resolution. Mediation is also known to be less costly!
- Keep Outside Forces Out: Never include the general public in helping resolve conflict within your organization. You must be in tune with the organization to be able to help with conflict situations.
- Suggestion Box: Empower employees to improve their workplace and the organization’s bottom line. Every individual has an idea, comment, or thought that can benefit the overall organization. Suggestion boxes can also be used if an individual needs to express their feelings, and would rather do so on paper. If you implement a suggestion program for your organization make sure you are constantly on top of all the ideas and moving forward with them.
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