Monthly Archives: August 2013

Confronting to resolve conflicts

With employees and personals working closely in any organization, too often situations arise where difference of opinion and collision of ideas, opinions and thoughts are inevitable. This could be due to various reasons such as personality differences, egos, die-hard habits, own way of doing things etc. In corporate world, it should be an accepted fact that not everyone is going to be on the same level of understanding and it should not be accepted that all employees will get along well with each other.  In fact it’s the differing nature of the ideas in people that brings out the best outcomes when the resolution process is followed correctly and efficiently.  In my experience there were many instances when either party was wrong or both were right in their own way. Sometimes it is tough to be in the position to mediate or confront to resolve such issues due to the nature of circumstances and the type of people involved.

It is essential to be non-judgmental and leaving any preferences aside, the right and accepted process should be followed. The process could involve collaborating, confronting, forcing or accepting to achieve the right outcome. The forcing technique should be sparsely used but is effective and is needed where the conflicting party is too stubborn and non-conforming of the documented policies. In spite of the realization, certain employees due to the amount of time and energy they invested in their ideas would find it hard to accept the opposing decision. Managers would be left with no choice but to force them to accept and follow the correct protocol.

Certain cases need delicate attention due to the fact that your team members may be equally right about a certain issue on hand but have their own ways of doing things. But avoiding resolution of conflicts tends to make problems worse because the lingering issue still exists until fully resolved. It is essential to be assertive, clear, calm and firm while being non-judgmental. Confrontation can result in a positive outcome if the right negotiation skills and used with the right communication techniques.

To summarize,

  • Conflicts are part of life and should be accepted in terms of occurrence
  • They can bring out the better outcome
  • Conflicts should be confronted when possible
  • The resolution process should be followed non-judgmentally and without any pre-conceived preference.
  • Adhere to policies of the organization regardless of any personal opinions.
  • Right techniques of communication and negotiation skills should be employed.
  • Train your employees to follow the documented procedures.
  • Minimize the possibility of confrontational situation or buildup of circumstances that could lead to confrontations.

Problem Types and Model for Decision making and solving problems

A problem can be defined as unexpected disruption or gap between current and desired state. There are different methods of tackling any particular issue using analytical, practical or creative approach.

An effective way would involve the progression through following stages

  1. Ascertaining what the problem is
  2. Identifying causes and opportunities
  3. Generating solutions
  4. Evaluating and choosing the best solution
  5. Implementing and monitoring actions

A systematic approach leads to the best possible outcome and in a way guarantees that the steps would result in being positively accepted by the general public while backed up by a suitable rationale. The outcomes would also be more consistent with aligned agenda on hand.

Often we come across a difficult question or choices that seem to go either way. Sometimes people see decision making or problem solving as a single step process or a single action of affirmation or negation. Although it may seem as a straight forward course, the mind iterates though multiple levels of processing.  To break it down and study the steps involved would not only help make a better decision but allows being confident in the outcome that leads to desired state. Whether a decision is tough, easy, difficult it is essential to iterate through the flow of various process broken down at its lowest level

Six Step model

  1. Defining the question accurately
  2. Searching for all possible answers
  3. Examining the impact and outcome of each answer
  4. Weighing the pros and cons and related risks & rewards
  5. Choosing the best solution that is solely designed to fit the question
  6. Monitor the outcome