Conflict Resolution

Putting together a team inevitably leads to disagreements and conflicts during project execution. Thus, conflict resolution is a vital skill in every business and relationship setting, enabling individuals to handle disputes effectively and promote constructive communication.

 There are different phases that people typically go through when dealing with a conflict. These phases are:

  • Latent conflict: This stage refers to the point at which the seeds of a conflict are planted. In this stage, the potential for a conflict exists, but it has not yet emerged.
  • Perceived conflict: At this stage, the parties involved begin to perceive that a conflict exists. This might happen because of a specific event or incident, or it could be the result of a gradual build-up of tension.
  • Felt conflict: This stage is where emotions start to become involved. People might start to feel angry, frustrated, or upset because of the conflict.
  • Manifest conflict: This is the stage where the conflict becomes visible and open. It might involve arguments, shouting matches, or even physical altercations.
  • Conflict resolution: The final stage is where the conflict is resolved. This might happen through negotiation, mediation, or other forms of conflict resolution. In some cases, the conflict might not be fully resolved, and the parties involved might need to find a way to manage it over the long term.

To resolve conflicts, five significant strategies exist, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Nonetheless, it is crucial to comprehend the motivations and viewpoints of all involved parties before attempting to address a dispute. The five conflict resolution strategies are:

  1. Evading: This strategy involves not engaging in the conflict, and is often used when the stakes are low and the disagreement is not worth the effort. While it can be helpful in some cases, it can also lead to bigger issues if the underlying problems are not addressed.
  2. Opposing: This strategy aims to win the conflict and is used when the stakes are high and the person strongly believes in their own opinion. However, it can be adversarial and lead to further conflicts if the person is not willing to compromise.
  3. Obliging: This strategy involves sacrificing one’s own needs to satisfy the other person’s needs or desires, and is useful when maintaining peace in the relationship is a priority. However, it can lead to resentment if the person feels their needs are not being considered.
  4. Cooperating: This strategy involves working together to solve the problem and allows both parties to have a voice in the process. While it can be effective, it can also be time-consuming and difficult to reach an agreement if the parties are not willing to compromise.
  5. Negotiating: This strategy aims to find a middle ground that both parties can agree on, allowing both to get what they want and achieve a mutually beneficial agreement. However, it can be challenging to find a middle ground that both parties accept.

This diagram illustrates how the intersection of these 5 strategies can impact both relationships and the achievement of goals.