AT WHAT POINT DOES THE CONFLICT BECOME DYSFUNCTIONAL?
HOW DO WE “DEFUSE” DYSFUNCTIONAL CONFLICT?
CONFLICT STIMULATION TECHNIQUES (SOME CONFLICT IS GOOD!)
INCREASE COMPETITION AMONG INDIVIDUALS AND TEAMS
Contests and incentives based on performance…we know the rules!
COMMUNICATE WITH LESS PRECISION
Send ambiguous messages and give very general instructions which will be open to differing interpretations of what to do, etc.
HIRE OR BRING IN OUTSIDERS
Add people who differ regarding their backgrounds, values and attitudes (increase heterogeneity)…we need some new ideas!
RESTRUCTURE THE ORGANIZATION…MAKE CHANGES
Realign work groups, alter the rules, etc…shake the place up!
ENCOURAGE DISSENT…APPOINT A DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
Sensitize the members that it’s ok to disagree or raise concerns. Designate a critic to purposely argue against the majority position.
CONTROLLING CONFLICT (LEARNING HOW TO LIVE WITH CONFLICT)
EXPAND THE RESOURCE BASE
Can we find more resources so we don’t have to fight over them?
Find ways to increase budgets, provide more space, etc.
SET SUPERORDINATE GOALS
Focus attention on higher-level objectives…the corporate goals that cannot be attained without cooperation.
IMPROVE THE COORDINATION OF INTERDEPENDENCIES
Develop better coordination and communication channels to bridge the gap between interdependent departments and groups. Consider liaison roles, task forces, and other integrating mechanisms.
MATCH PERSONALITIES & WORK HABITS OF EMPLOYEES
Don’t make incompatible personalities work together continuously. Consider a transfer for one or both of them to other units.
RESOLVING AND ELIMINATING CONFLICT (CONFLICT IS BAD…GET RID OF IT)
AVOIDANCE OF CONFLICT
If I ignore it…maybe it will die down and go away! Separate the parties involved…give them time to cool off.
If our goals are incompatible, we must bargain with each other to resolve the conflict. Each party gives something up to reach an agreement (a “lose-lose” situation).
CONFRONT THE CONFLICT AND RESOLVE IT
Sit down and discuss the issues face-to-face in a mature fashion. Search for a “win-win” solution, or agree on how the conflict will be resolved (superior decision, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, etc).