Conflict Resolution Activities

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Some conflicts are both inevitable and understandable, e.g., only one job, two desperate applicants, while others are utterly preventable and incomprehensible, e.g., one canoe, two paddles, and two people, when one wants to use both paddles. A third category, comprising those that are understandable, yet avoidable or at least readily resolved represents the kind of conflict that is most easily managed, e.g., one puppy, two kids.

Workplace conflicts can take any of these three forms. Resolution of such conflicts must address not only the strategic, tactical, resource and value conflicts between the disputants, but also the associated vested interests, invested emotions, rationalizations and selective or biased perceptions brought to any negotiations.

One of the key requirements for successful resolution is to understand how the disputants could possibly see things so differently. A second is to understand how any eventual agreement on the facts does not ensure agreeing on conflicting values, priorities and goals. An eagle and a fish can agree the eagle is hungry and that the fish wants to live; but that is only the first step toward conflict resolution.

The ever-present challenge in conflict resolution activities is to transform such seemiingly "zero-sum" impasses into passable "win-win" outcomes.

For an organization to be successful, one of the core factors is resolution of conflicts in the workplace. The resolution of conflicts affects more than emotions. Organizational bottom lines, productivity, and efficiency are all increased with a properly implemented conflict resolution. In the workplace, personal issues and conflicts between employees are expected. However, the manner in which these are proactively addressed will transform them from being destructive into being productive.

In implementing conflict resolution activities, it is important to realize a few important situations. Many conflicts arise because of how things are said, rather than what is said. In any event, it is possible to replace conflict with personal understanding. Many individual conflicts can be framed as different paths leading to the same goal.

Bridging gaps and creating understanding helps to remove potential causes of conflict. By removing the team dynamics that increase conflict and replacing it with resolutions for refocusing energy on positive issues, makes for effective workplace behavior. Conflict resolution activities in the workplace can solve many of the personality conflicts that arise regularly.

Effective resolution of conflict also helps to improve productivity and efficiency in the workplace. This not only helps in solving individual and or group conflicts, it also creates a higher level of workplace respect. Damaged customer relations can also be saved this way. Conflict resolution activities work best when both parties are offered a win-win situation to resolve what seemed to be an irresolvable "zero-sum" conflict, in which a win for one side means a loss for the other.

Resources for conflict resolution activities include the following:



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