How to Effectively Manage Business Conflicts When people work together, it doesn’t matter what you are doing, conflict will eventually arise. There are a lot of things that can cause conflict like personal beliefs, management styles, separate goals, and their view of power. Trust and productivity will decline if conflicts are not managed and resolved quickly. This is especially damaging to small businesses. There are a few different conflict management strategies that can help you minimize the damage done to your business when people don’t agree. If one side of the conflict wants to keep the peace more than getting what it wants, you can use the accommodating strategy. It can be effective to give one side what it wants in order to keep the peace. It one side thinks it is a minor issue, then this strategy is possible. You can see a common use of this strategy in casual Fridays in the workplace. If you use this a lot, people might start to get resentful for having to give up things all the time.
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You may also want to consider avoidance. Avoiding the conflict for as long as possible is what avoidance boils down to. The only way that this will work long-term is if by avoiding the problem, it eventually works itself out without interference. This strategy might work if you hire a productive worker after firing a well-liked but unproductive one. Once people see the work load even out, they aren’t angry about the person being fired anymore. Collaborating takes ideas from several different people and works them together in a way that makes everyone happy. This will take more time to get going and isn’t going to work on all conflicts. The manager and business owner aren’t going to waste time collaborating on office supplies, but they will work together on enacting policies in the business. Even if a perfect solution can’t be reached to make everyone happy, you may be able to make the situation acceptable to both parties with compromising. Compromising happens when both people give up things they want in order to meet on middle ground. If both sides need to reach an agreement soon and hold equal power, this is usually the best strategy. In emergency situations, a competition where one side wins and the other loses can be useful. Overusing this can cause rifts if you aren’t careful. Decisions that cause ill-will, like pay cuts or layoffs, would be an extreme example of when this might be necessary. No matter what challenges you face in your business, knowing how to resolve different conflicts will be crucial to your success. Different situations will mean using different strategies, so it is up to you to decide which one is going to work best.