Thursday, January 23, 2020

Are you Building a Bridge or a Barrier? - CONFLICT Resolution

So here is the crux of what I have studied about the resolution strategies or methods for Conflict that exist around us. I must tell you that this is the second part of the conflict management series and the final one, so if you have not read the 'Understanding CONFLICT' blog post, I request you to first click here and then read this one, for better understanding and implementation.

As I shared in the last blog post that I was studying the work of Max A Eggert and Wendy Falzon and can't resist to include their take on the conflict resolution topic. This time also I will share some of their work on the same.


 I Conflict Resolution Strategies - 

1. Exercise of Power - 

In this, the party with the most power usually wins. Might is right. This is a win/lose orientation and the conflict remains because the loser still experiences resentment. This competitive approach uses games and tactics to disadvantage the competition and comes from an I am right and you are wrong life position. If both parties are fairly equal in power, they could bring about a lose/lose catastrophe where no one gains.

2. Exercise of Rights - 

People use their rights to come to a winning position. Agreements and resolution can be achieved, but this in no way guarantees conflict resolution. Even after a decision, all those involved can still be dissatisfied.

3. Exercise of Mutual Interests - 

Because there is a mutual interdependency and the parties usually have to continue living and working together, agreements achieved by recognising mutual long-term interests can bring about solutions that are, for the most part, satisfactory to all concerned. Both parties gain something.

II The Agreement Box Model - 

When the positions overlap we have the agreement box:


Any agreements between the two positions x and y, that is anywhere in the agreement box, will be acceptable to both parties in most of the cases. The trick is to get the other side to move towards your position faster than you move towards theirs.

Check out this funny yet valuable conflict resolution video here.

III The Four Stages of Conflict Resolution - 

Just as there are many causes of conflict so are the approaches to its resolution. However, most conflict is resolved through this process :



1. Identification of the Problem - 

This can be in neutral or emotional/argumentative statements, eg: ‘Given the accepted interest rate, your price is totally unacceptable’ or ‘You greedy devil, do you think I was born yesterday? Your price is ridiculous’. In both of the statements, the problem is Price.

2. Arguments and Responses - 

This is the toing and froing, during which parties involved put their case as strongly as possible to support their respective positions. Since neither side can force the other side to comply completely with their wishes or aspirations, this stormy beginning is followed by the generation of possible options. Work with the other person, discover where they are coming from and why they have taken the position they have. You do not have to agree with it, but to achieve movement you need to work from it.

3. Developing and Evaluating Options - 

In this stage ideas are generated, solutions suggested, concessions made and bargains struck. Depending on the power, needs, timing and the conflict context, a possible option gradually becomes acceptable to both sides. As it is an improvement on the BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement ) it is accepted by both sides.

4. Resolution and Agreement - 

Here the stakeholders agree on an option or line of action which hopefully, for the most part, is acceptable to both sides and felt to be fair. In an ideal situation, it is a win/win outcome. Whatever form of an agreement it is, those involved accept that the conflict is resolved.


IV 5 Steps to Prevent Conflict - 

1. Create Quality Time - 

W all say that we are not able to manage time, it is not the problem of time management but Time Creation. We need to create time from our 24-hour schedule given God, especially for regular discussions can be the best way to clear up misunderstandings. It is of utmost importance for husbands and wives so to prevent conflict.

2. With Difficult People - 

A lot of conflict arises simply because of the assumptions we make about others and the interpretations we put on the things said. Such conflicts could be defused by a few minutes of skilful and honest discussion. Remember, if you find people difficult, they are likely to find you difficult
too. And there are no difficult people, there are people in difficulty. You may want to explore and understand their intention before condemning their actions. Forgiveness is a decision and you may wish to ponder on the question ‘Who gains most if you forgive ?’

3. Don't Hover on Problems - 

Offer a plan for improving things rather than merely complaining your anger. Instead of smouldering because your partner comes home at different times each night and expects dinner ready, share your problem. Explain that a call just before he leaves the office would solve this problem for you and ask if this would work for him. In the workplace, anything you don't like about your senior or junior share with the person assertively. Seek Solutions, every time!!

4. Change Shoes -

Imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would it feel to be the other person at this moment relating to you, hearing what you are saying and seeing what you are doing? Swap roles in the argument. Try this in real life and invite your partner to do the same. You might get a laugh by viewing yourself from the other side. We are always right in our own eyes. Aren't we?

5. Improve your Language - 

Avoid These                         Replace with

You should ...                       I need ...
You are ...                             My perception is ...
Yes but ...                             The problem I have with that is ...
Who is to blame?                 What can we do ... ?
You are Wrong....                  I respect your opinion


Dear Readers, Let's humble ourselves, practice patience and think of an ideal situation.  And, Think whenever you are in the situation of CONFLICT -
Are you a Peacemaker or a Peacebreaker?

Are you Building a Bridge or a Barrier?


And now you know who you are and what are you building!!

- Ashish Parnani
www.ashishparnani.com
www.equiplife.in





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