What Is Conflict Management?
Good conflict management is a necessary skill for HR and leadership, in the search for promoting an environment of innovation and building learning. In this article, we will show you the importance of this in people management.The recipe for success for a high performing team is diversity . In this sense, the more diverse this team is in terms of gender, age, culture and knowledge, the greater the interaction and the construction of new learning.
Certainly, for some companies, this diversity can be a challenge. After all, the difference in opinions and culture can become a point of conflict for the team.Although conflict is sometimes seen as a negative thing, this is not always true. If the root of the conflict is in the differences, this can be an excellent opportunity for the team to mature and learn.
Therefore, the human resources sector needs to deal with these differences in a skillful way, preventing conflicts from turning into confrontations and undermining the synergy and cohesion of the group.
In this sense, one of the skills necessary for people management, both for HR and for leadership, is conflict management. That is, the ability to transform conflict into a moment of interaction, dialogue and construction of new learning.
Managing The Differences
We can say that conflict management is a series of actions and processes that seek to manage different thoughts, feelings and interests within the workspace.It’s not just about preventing conflicts from existing. In fact, it is humanly impossible to prevent the existence of conflicts. Exactly because it is humanly impossible to form a team of equals.
Therefore, if the conflict arises from the differences, each and every team will face infinite times, situations of impasse for decision making.In this sense, conflict management seeks to use this divergence as an opportunity for development for the team as it reconciles differences and promotes an environment of dialogue and respect.
In short, we can say that well-managed conflict situations are excellent opportunities for learning and personal and professional growth for employees.In this way, conflict management aims to achieve harmony in teamwork, while maintaining or increasing productivity levels.
Diversity X Conflict
Uniquely, conflict arises precisely in the diversity of a team. However, this does not make diversity a negative. On the contrary, the greater the diversity of the team, the greater the chances of success in the business.
After all, diversity is an opportunity to develop new knowledge from the plurality of profiles in the team. Therefore, investing in diversity and inclusion in companies needs to be seen as a competitive differentiator, which makes the company capable of growth and innovation.
Therefore, it is not possible to consider her as a villain in the emergence of the conflict. In the same way that conflict does not need to be seen as something negative. It is precisely conflict management that will allow the company to make the best use of these deadlock situations and transform them into opportunities for growth, through constructive discussions for the development of the team .
When Conflict Is A Risk
Here’s the question: if conflict is a learning opportunity for the organization, why is it necessary to manage conflicts?
It may seem like a complex question, but the answer is actually quite simple. Conflict while debating ideas and interests has a high learning factor. However, when the company ignores the risks and does not intervene in deadlock situations, it is possible that the conflict ends up evolving into a confrontation.
And the result of this is drastic: unmotivated teams, feeling of devaluation and high turnover rates , due to an unbalanced organizational climate.
How Does Conflict Management Work?
In principle, conflict management works from the intermediation and assertive management of divergent situations. This requires both HR professionals and leaders, training aimed at empathic communication and cultivating healthy interpersonal relationships.
Therefore, the participation of the human resources sector in the construction of processes for conflict management is very important. For this, this sector needs to understand what are the main skills to be developed both in leadership and in those who participate in intermediation.
Among these skills, it is necessary to consider the ability to negotiate, non-violent communication and emotional intelligence .
Of course, these are just some of the skills needed for conflict management. However, they are extremely necessary for the two main processes of this management: negotiating and integrating.
Negotiation And Integration In Conflict Management
Considering that conflict management seeks to harmonize labor relations, through the intermediation of divergences, the ability to negotiate is a prerequisite for its execution.
In this sense, negotiation is the ability to seek a balanced solution, respecting different points of view and guiding decision-making that will benefit all involved.
However, for the negotiation to take place, it is necessary, previously, that the divergent points are clarified and the intermediary knows all the facts. Here, non-violent communication is a great ally of conflict management, as it guides dialogue, allowing all points of view to be exposed in a respectful and empathetic way.
Having clarified the facts, it is necessary to focus on the needs and develop with the team possible solutions to the problem. The definition of the most assertive solution involves team integration, through the same negotiation techniques.
This integration even prioritizes encouraging the exchange of ideas and arguing points of view, until all resistance is exhausted and everyone reaches a common sense of the situation.
The Role Of Leadership In Conflict Management
If for HR, conflict management represents the development of processes for this purpose, on the other hand, the role of leadership is often one of intermediation. Thus, leadership must be of the inspiring type.
Inspirational leaders direct the team with clarity, purpose and grounded in the organization’s values. In this sense, the leadership needs to be prepared to perform with excellence its role as an intermediary in team conflicts.
Here, once again, HR places itself as the main supporter of leadership and encourager of its work, providing the necessary support in the development of its abilities. Once the solutions are proposed, the leader will be primarily responsible for monitoring the situation, mediating the relationships of his collaborators.
Benefits Of Conflict Management
As we have said before, by ignoring the risks of a conflict turning into a future confrontation, the company ends up increasing the risks of negatively impacting its employees.
Thus, the risks are the increase in turnover rates, demotivation and low productivity of the team, among others.
On the other hand, through conflict management, it is possible to positively impact the team, by encouraging diversity, encouraging a collaborative environment and a culture of continuous learning, in addition to increasing the levels of engagement, productivity and innovative capacity of the team.
It is possible to perceive, in view of what has been exposed, that concentrating forces to develop processes in conflict management is an activity that involves the participation of both HR and leadership.
And its application aims to qualify the work environment and propose a change in the way of positioning itself in the face of team diversity.
In short, conflict management favors the organizational climate , promoting an environment of constructive participation and integration of all employees. In addition to the internal advantages, we can highlight that the construction of a team that values new learning, from the interaction of its members, ends up becoming a competitive advantage in the market. Therefore, managing conflicts will provide the team with the opportunity to develop with excellence.
But of course, to provide the team with processes that facilitate assertive communication and promote this management, other processes need to be automated and allow the HR team time to manage intellectual capital strategically.