Mudassir Iqbal

A conflict could be anything from a simple argument to a very serious argument or disagreement between two or more individuals.  Conflict management is the process of minimizing the negative aspects of conflict while enhancing positive aspects like Creativity, problem-solving and trustworthiness.

This video presented by Mudassir Iqbal aims to elaborate on the significance and concept of conflict management to help organizations increase their group outcomes and overall performance.

Conflict Management Techniques

  • Withdrawal or avoidance:
    It involves avoiding the conflict altogether by withdrawing or disengaging from the situation. This can be effective when the conflict is minor or not worth the effort to resolve. Using this technique can lead to unresolved issues and unresolved feelings.
  • Smoothing or accommodation:
    It involves de-emphasizing or downplaying the importance of the issue to reduce tension and find a compromise. This can be effective when the conflict is minor or the parties involved are not invested in the outcome. However, this technique should be used with caution, as it can be seen as avoiding the real problem and not addressing the underlying issues.
  • Compromise:
    It involves finding a middle ground or mutually acceptable solution between the parties involved in the conflict. This can be effective in situations where the parties are willing to negotiate and the issue is not a matter of principle. This can lead to a loss of power or control for one or both parties.
  • Force or direct action:
    It involves using power or authority to impose a solution on the parties involved in the conflict. This can be effective in situations where the conflict is minor or the parties involved are not invested in the outcome. It could lead to resentment and further conflicts.
  • Collaboration or problem-solving:
    This technique involves working together to find a solution that addresses the underlying issues and meets the needs of all parties involved in the conflict. This can be effective in situations where the parties are willing to work together and the issue is important to them. This technique can lead to a long-term and sustainable solution.

We often encounter problems that arise when working in a team. It’s not wrong to say that it’s a natural process when employed in a team. This video from the Project Management Series is one of the key pieces of training we offer to managers and supervisors. Learning how to manage conflicts successfully is an essential skill for anyone in management and an effective way to prevent obstacles to professional growth.

Which is the best strategy

Conflict Resolution
Conflict management techniques in the Japanese vs American and Australian

It’s striking to see that nearly all of the Japanese (high context) trainees tended towards a more cooperative than assertive style. They try to accommodate or avoid when faced with conflict, whereas the American and Australian (low context) participants preferred a more competitive or collaborative approach. The key issue is not which style is best, but the gap between the two cultures represented by the dashed black line.

Why Conflict Management Matters

Conflicts can develop in any interpersonal or organisational context and, if not addressed appropriately, can lead to lower productivity, morale, strained relationships, and even legal problems. Conflict management helps people and organisations settle disagreements, maintain positive relationships, and create a productive work environment. For personal and professional growth, conflict management skills increase communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. Conflict management matters because it fosters a healthy, happy, and productive workplace where people and businesses may thrive.

Sources of conflict in order of frequency

1) Schedule
2) Project priorities
3) Resources
4)Technical Opinions
5) Administrative procedures
6) Cost
7) Personality.

Personality is the least while the schedule is the most occurring conflict.

How can PM plays an important role in conflict management

Conflict can arise in any project, and it is the Project Manager’s responsibility to identify, address, and resolve conflicts constructively and effectively. Here are some ways in which a Project Manager can play an important role in conflict management:

  1. Identifying conflicts early: Project Managers should anticipate and resolve conflicts before they escalate.
  2. Encouraging open communication: The Project Manager should encourage team members to communicate openly and provide a neutral space to address conflicts.
  3. Adopting a solution-focused approach: The Project Manager should collaborate with all parties to find a solution to conflicts.
  4. Empowering team members: When possible, the Project Manager should let team members resolve disagreements themselves. This will help them resolve conflicts and take ownership.
  5. Mediating disputes: When the team members cannot resolve conflicts, the Project Manager should act as a mediator to help resolve the dispute.
  6. Documenting conflicts and resolutions: The Project Manager should document conflicts and their resolutions to help ensure that conflicts do not reoccur and to provide a record of the process.

To avoid conflicts, it is important to:

  • Communicate effectively: Clear and open communication can help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts from arising.
  • Practice active listening: By truly listening to others and understanding their perspectives, it’s easier to find common ground.
  • Be willing to compromise: Conflicts often arise when one party wants something that the other party is unwilling to give. Being willing to compromise can help find an acceptable solution to both parties.
  • Be aware of and manage emotions: Emotions can run high in conflicts and managing them can help prevent things from escalating.

This video is from the Project Management Seminars Series presented by Mudassir Iqbal, PMP which goes On-Air every Saturday at 19:00 GMT. The series explores how to effectively manage projects based on the Project Management Practices suggested in the PMBOK Guide by PMI.

Updated on 22 Jan, 2023

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