Conflict Management in the Workplace-Tips for Bosses

As a manager you must have faced resistance to new ideas, initiatives and change to procedures at some point in time. Good managers learn to deal with these minor push-backs and move ahead. Better ones, however, turn that into an opportunity and gain in strength from it – they create a persona for themselves and turn it to their advantage. Some simple managerial and conversational recommendations that make managers turn into leaders, in spite of resistance from a group of people, are discussed below. They would assist a good manager turn into a better leader.

State your Aim Clearly.     For a task to be done well, it needs to be clearly stated. Be direct but be positive and use plain tones. State facts as facts and mention requirements in an unambiguous manner. Clear instructions, without an iota of threat works wonders in any situation. Above all, keep a neutral tone and add no negative emotion to the conversation. Half your job is done.

Let People Gripe – Its their Birthright.     You have to appear as a very patient listener. You need to listen to the protests people have, but limit it to a logical time span. It need not be unending and you need to make them understand that though occasional bouts of complaints might work – noncompliance does not. Limit the gripe time.

Understand the Real Concern.     Often the real cause of the resistance to a new idea is not what is overtly stated. Some undercurrents – not so obvious ones, do not emerge while you speak to people. Good managers learn to keep a tap on these undercurrents and actual reasons to resistance.  Prod a little more and get to the bottom of every opposition.

Aim to Resolve in One Sitting.     Try and resolve the concerns in one round of interaction. Try not to lead conversations which deal with opposition to your ideas to a round two.  Round two is normally bad news and is likely to hound you later.

Accept Logical Suggestions.  Be open in your approach to new suggestions. There might be something that you really have missed regardless of all planning and experience. Be candid if you feel that the other side has valid concerns and be open about the ways you intend to address these. There is nothing like making the other person feel happy that the point he or she gave has been accepted.

Fail Safe Solution.    If all else fails, don’t be afraid to read the riot act – once in a while. Make the people who resent change aware of the consequences of disobedience to the company, loss of profitability and issues of management moving ahead.

The aim of a manager is to run a team with least resistance. Cooperation and team work in a team are results of clear understanding of the aim and some good management practices. A good leader accepts suggestions that are new and path breaking, but knows when to put a stop to these and move ahead. To be a good manager learn to effectively deal with resistance. The secret lies in good communication.

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