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A REFLECTIVE JOURNAL ON MANAGING WORKPLACE CONFLICTWHAT IS IT AND HOW TO MANAGE IT-IF THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAYSConflict is defined as a disagreement through which the parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. It is a part of the organizational life and one should not consider it as a negative phenomenon all the time. Although it poses a difficult time but a careful handling can also be viewed as a learning experience. To understand conflict, we need to understand various factors of conflict. Disagreement is the basic factor of conflict.

When examined closely, it is more of a ‘perceived disagreement’ than just disagreement. On many occasions, people get influenced to be part of a conflict because they are part of the workplace. Sometimes there is a confusion regarding who is involved in the conflict and someone may be a part of a conflict without his knowledge and it is also possible that someone may be thinking that he is part of the conflict but he is not. Just like the disagreement could be a perceived idea, the threat can also be perceived rather than true.

The most important factor of the conflict is the problem or the real problem. Most of the times the problem is supposed to be the obvious substantial problem that may be creating a near-term effect, but one must look beyond that and find out the procedural and psychological factors that could be the real problem. Understanding people’s behaviours can help us understand and resolve conflict. Some people have a competing style and they put their needs over the needs of the others.

They usually have an aggressive style of communication an may be coercive. They do not have much regard for future relationship. They like to be in control and increase the level of threat in the other person. Some people have accommodating nature and they want to preserve the relationships. That makes them yield their needs to those of others. These needs may remain undefined most of the times. Some people simply avoid the situation of conflict. But this leads to a blow up and leaves people more confused.

The avoided and unaddressed conflict grows and reaches a beyond repair stage. A compromising approach believes in give and take but it may fail to understand the perception of the other people. This may not cover up for a lack of trust and a disguised hiding from the problem. Conflict is a complex set of issues that need very careful handling. A positive approach can turn it into a learning opportunity. In a workplace, conflict rises when stress rises. Most of these can be easily solved if there is a system through which people can express their problems and concerns without any fear or backlash.

Since stress is the main cause of conflict, if care is taken to remove unnecessary stress causing factors, then it can help control the situation. Collaborating could be an effective mathod of resolving workplace conflict. It is oriented towards combining the individual needs with a common goal. It is based on assertive communication and cooperation. A consensus and integration of needs can not only resolve the problem but it will raise the energy level and positivism in the workplace.

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