Conflict is a term that is used to refer to a collision of interests, principles, proceedings, views or instructions. Conflict arises mainly due to misunderstandings between individuals. These disagreements are caused by so many things which include having different views on an issue, following different directions and having diverged thoughts on an issue. Conflict states arise because of various reasons. Some of them are fear, which refers to the situation where one is highly concerned about what the future has in store for him or her. The second one is a force of any kind that has the ability to push an individual into making decisions. Fair also is the other thing that enables conflict to arise. Fair refers to the act of wanting fairness to existing in various dealings. Costs of the conflict have the ability to incite conflict and at the same time, it may help in its resolution. Other causes include lack of communication, interpersonal differences, views, and status. Conflicts occur in various places, there can be conflict in the workplace as the pressure to meet the demands of the worker's increases.
Conflict can sometimes be seen as a continuous process. In various workplaces, conflict can be seen as a tool that increases the efficiency of a company. Conflict as a process has various stages which follow each other in a sequential manner. First, there should be the conflict state, then awareness of the state of conflict, its realization, the show up of the actual conflict and the aim to deal with the conflict then the consequences of the conflict (Callahan, 2007).
Conflict situations may have positive or negative impacts in the community .hence conflict states can either be resolved or managed so as to be useful. The manager of the organization where the conflict has occurred should be able to create an atmosphere that will enable him to manage and regulate behavior. There are various theories that have been put forward to explain conflict management. Some have said that conflicts are not good and hence measures have to be put in place to deal with it.
It states that human beings always have conflicts. These conflicts are as a result of modifications and may have substantial benefits to the organization if well managed. Others consider that change is a mechanism that brings together divergent thoughts and views into a fresh and special change.
For an individual to manage conflict properly, the manager involved has to understand the response styles of the parties involved so as to be able to deal with conflicts effectively. There are various responses which can be grouped into different categories. First, there are addresses; these are those groups of individuals who are ready to take the ideas and risk to seek the appropriate solutions through engaging their challenges into agreeing on some of the issues. Secondly, there are confronters who believe that things are not good and they won't lose anything if they confront. Others are those who are not ready to take risks and have no say in anything, first steppers, those who consume their feelings and those who are ready to change the subject (Porter-O'Grady & Malloch, 2003).
To deal with conflict, therefore, the manager of the organization has to understand all the response styles. It should also be understood that conflicts are normal in an organization, these if well managed they can act as a source of motivation for those involved. The manager has to be in a position to see the upcoming conflicts and identify the better solution.
Communication skills play a major role in resolving conflicts. Effective communication leads to the development of good relationships, increasing closeness, faithfulness and the ability to give support. On the other hand, lack of communication brings about the weakening of bonds, lack of trust and eventually leads to hatred. When conflict arises a manager who possesses good communication skills should be having the ability to create a conducive environment that allows effective communication between the two parties.
There are various ways in which the conflicting groups or individuals can react when they are involved in a conflict. First, they can fight though this is not the most appropriate solution to the problem as it entails having losers on one end and those who gain on the other end. This can only be useful in a court where the end product of the process is either losing or winning.
Secondly, the conflicting groups can be involved in negotiations. These negotiations occur in the conflicting situation and are not focused on resolution. The third parties, therefore, have a major role to play in reaching consensus. Others can decide to look for a solution to the problem. This involves identification of the cause and how to deal with the main cause of the conflict. This may not bring out an effective solution as it might have brought out great influence on the situation. There is also plan which is the aim to bring the conflict to normal. This sees disagreements as a state rather than a problem. This option aims not only to provide a solution to the problem that is already there but it also foresees what might happen.
There are various aspects of communication which are regarded as negative as they rather increase the conflict. An example is whereby an individual tries to avoid the conflict. The individual does not engage in any discussion regarding the matter and rather remains silent until the situation explodes. This situation causes a lot of stress to the parties involved in the conflict and a great argument arises at the long run.
The best way to handle a situation is to be involved in discussions regarding the major cause of the problem and trying to get a solution together. This way helps in reducing stress and tensions between the two groups as they address the cause of conflict and look for the best solutions together. The key player in obtaining a happy relationship is ensuring that there is effective communication for example, in a marriage communication helps in conflict resolution.
Another aspect of communication that does not bring out a fruitful solution is whereby an individual is not willing to accept any wrongdoing and they struggle to ensure that there is no possibility that they can be regarded as the source of a problem. This denial may bring about long-term problems for an individual as it removes pressure for a short term. The best way to carry out this process is by attending to the arguments of the opponent keenly and being in a position to recognize the extent of the disagreement and seeking to obtain a clear view of the other person's thoughts on the issue. This will, in turn, reduce stress and enable the individuals involved to avoid long-term conflicts (Callahan, 2007).
Some other form of communication which is not helpful is where an individual does not address the issue directly. The phrases that are used in this situations include the use of terms like, you always… or you never… and others which do not specify the issue in question. To be able to manage conflicts effectively one has to establish the main cause of disagreement and be able to talk about it in presence of the two parties involved. The cause of conflict has to be addressed there and then.
Being in a position to judge your way of looking at things as right always may not enable one to resolve a conflict. One does not have to expect people to view things the same way with the other person as people are different and they always have different thoughts over an issue. Therefore to be able to get a solution to the problem you should be able to know that there is no wrong opinion, and all opinions presented by individuals might be right.
There are various other negative communication skills which are of great help in conflict management if they are avoided. These skills include the ability to assume that you know everything that is going through the mind of the other party, and their actions are as a result of their thoughts. The other thing is an inability of an individual to listen to the other person. When a person always wants to be listened to and even when the other party is talking, the person is looking and rolling the eyes searching for the next information that will be put forward (Bercovitch, Huang & Teng, 2008).
Communication devices are very useful tools that are applied together with the communication skills to enable an individual to resolve a conflict effectively. They range from simple to complex devices. There are various examples of communication devices which include mobile phones, internet-enabled tools which include laptops. The way in which these devices work hand in hand with the skills is seen in a situation whereby an individual wants to resolve a conflict with a deaf person using the skill of addressing the issue direct. One will be able to send a text message which will be read by that person. In that case, an individual has resolved a conflict with the aid of the communication devices.
In conclusion, conflicts are a daily occurrence in the lives of human beings and hence people should always be able to look for ways in which they can get effective solutions to the disagreements. The use of both communication skills and devices enables the manager to effectively manage conflicts.