Conflict could be caused by conflicting values, perceptions and motivations of team members. Conflict management is necessary to ensure that team conflict does not hinder productivity and the achievement of organisational goals. It is important to make sure that conflict results in a positive and constructive outcome and not a destructive one. A constructive outcome is where problems get resolved, there is a positive behavioural change and the team works better together. A destructive one is where problems are not resolved and the morale of team members is negatively affected.
The following are ways to enhance effective conflict resolution:
- Asking questions and listening to understand the problem and each person’s perspective on the matter
- Considering each person’s needs, aiming to promote fairness and well-being
- Genuinely showing a willingness to resolve the conflict, repair the relationship and foster unity
- Looking for a common ground and identifying common interests
- Being proactive in problem-solving, exploring ideas and asking for needed advice
- Arriving at a solution that is fair, choosing the best option after considering likely solutions