Conflict Resolution in the workplace


Conflict Resolution
By: Njoroge Wanjigi nwanjigi@mtkenyatimes.co.ke

Worth Noting:

  • Bearing in mind most of the time conflict is due to our variance as living beings. What with 10-20% of it being as a result of difference of opinion and more than 80% due to wrong choice of words and or the tone of voice.
  • It is helpful therefore, to make peace with the fact in the workplace it is practically impossible to please and be loved by everyone more so as a leader. Consequently, conflict will rear its ugly head sooner than later. When this happens the following will go a long way effectively solving it.
  • Facilitate dispute resolution as an arbitrator. It is prudent to leave your participation and feedback for last. This is to allow everybody the opportunity to express their true feelings without interruption or adverse influence.

As an extremely happy go-lucky and easy going amiable bloke; I spend a very long time in the mistaken belief conflict should and must be avoided at all cost. Little did I know that this was impossible especially in the workplace, more so for decision makers. I failed to understand humanity is not homogeneous consequently; the potential for conflict was inevitable due to divergent morals, intellect and primal instinct.

Regardless of the school of thought you subscribe to; it is important to understand the quality of life hinges on effective resolution of conflict as opposed to lack of it.

Bearing in mind most of the time conflict is due to our variance as living beings. What with 10-20% of it being as a result of difference of opinion and more than 80% due to wrong choice of words and or the tone of voice.

Therefore my presentation today is not about avoiding or minimizing conflict. The objective is more about getting comfortable in conflict and the pursuit for resolving it effectively.

It is helpful therefore, to make peace with the fact in the workplace it is practically impossible to please and be loved by everyone more so as a leader. Consequently, conflict will rear its ugly head sooner than later. When this happens the following will go a long way effectively solving it.

  • Level minded, clear articulation and identification of the contentious issues.
  • Drafting a list of possible desired outcomes.
  • Identifying a middle ground for all stakeholders.
  • Determination of possible options and conceivable solutions.
  • Careful consideration of desirable outcomes.
  • Have a clear monitoring and evaluation strategy.

This process is bound to take time. A clever strategy in giving parties involved time to calm down. For it is counterproductive attempting conflict resolution amidst heighted tensions. It’s prudent to give the individuals involved including yourself ample time to settle down. After all Rome was not built in a day.

After you have clearly defined the contentious issues and objectively came up with possible solutions to the conflict and gave the individuals concerned ample time to regain composure.

Facilitate dispute resolution as an arbitrator. It is prudent to leave your participation and feedback for last. This is to allow everybody the opportunity to express their true feelings without interruption or adverse influence.

Because this makes the crew feel heard, and not as though you bulldozed your way before they could present their argument. This would be counterproductive because when done this way you are inadvertently communicating their feelings and opinion counts for nothing consequently frustrating your intention.

However, if executed correctly the discourse should progress in such a way that by the end it’s obvious to all what the desired outcome should be and everybody voluntarily embraces the expected solution/s as their own.

Njoroge Wanjigi is a multi-faceted individual, a seasoned sales and marketing executive, the Sales and Marketing Director Mt Kenya Times Daily, the MD Grace-Sally Investments Initiative, Founder and Managing Member Pezuri Foods Ltd, a free-lance writer, writing insightful and inspirational articles on a broad spectrum of issues, a business consultant,  corporate coach, trainer, facilitating excitement packed high octane workshops, a spellbinding Motivational/Public Speaker, MC, Christian Counselor,  a Preacher of The Word of God, Author of The Bible At A Glance, Deputy Party Leader  KAPA (Kenyan African People’s Achievement Party), a President in waiting. Feel free to contact him at +254702784879, +254777784879 or +254726949924, Email: nwanjigi@mtkenyatimes.co.ke, Facebook: Njoroge.wanjigi Twitter: Njoroge_Wanjigi, http://za.linkedin.com/in/NjorogeWanjigi

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