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Managing Conflict Using Problem Solving. Essay

1737 words - 7 pages

Managing Conflict Using Problem-SolvingConflict resolution is an essential skill for all managers, especially in the Human Resource arena. Where else but in Human Resources can you find a multitude of personalities and a diversity of viewpoints? The word "conflict" can bring many different ideas and thoughts to mind. We often think of hostility, aggression, withdrawal, power struggles, and opposition. Just the mention of the word can make us uneasy. Most people can probably recall a time that they experienced a conflict with a friend, teacher, parent, or family member. Sometimes the results were satisfying; at other times disaster resulted. If you are a living, breathing human-being, you will have conflict. The only people who do not are dead. If you have an opinion on anything you will disagree with someone and engage in conflict. Conflict is an inevitable part of life, work and relationships. What happens when you face conflicts at work? What if a co-worker doesn't make the deadline with his or her part of a combined project? How do you handle it when your boss asks you to do something unethical? What is your reaction to a co-worker who falsely accuses you for losing a big contract? Do you tend to hold your tongue? Do you wait to see what will happen? Or do you confront, defend and blowup?Conflict seems to be something we think we should avoid. We fear confrontation in conflict and we associate it with anger and see it as destructive. But conflict is normal and happens continually. Conflict can even be a constructive and positive experience for all parties involved. One only has to think of how much better he feels after taking time to explain emotions and personal positions when conversing with someone after a fight. Our reaction to, and method of dealing with conflict rather than the conflict itself is what causes painful, frightening or even damaging experiences. Conflict issues can be big or small, between individuals or among groups. Conflict issues can be as simple as a co-worker trying to get a fellow employee to complete a project, or as complex as a manager motivating a team. Anytime personal interaction is required in a job, situations often arise due to the presence of conflict whether it is with an individual or a situation. Usually, the greatest challenge in managing conflicts such as those described has to do with defining the problem. As a working nation, our natural tendency is to jump into action and solve the problem. This approach won't work, however, until we know what problem we are trying to solve. Once all parties involved have a clear understanding of what the problem is, they can put their energies into solving it. Leaders make sure they take the time to define the problem at the front-end. "Once defined, many times the solution will become fairly self-evident, and its implementation smoother with less chance of failure" (Dunn 35). Conflict resolution is an essential skill for all managers, especially in Human...

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