Business conflict management
Publié le 14 Dec 2018

Business conflict management

Managing a conflict in business is a usual necessity. Demands, rivalries, observations of the hierarchy, mistrust…, the forms that these conflicts take are numerous. Their consequences are detrimental to the smooth running of the activity. How to restore contact and serenity between employees of the same company when trust has been tested?

Effects of conflicts

Disagreements and tensions between individuals or groups of people are part of the classic sequences of the life of a company . Badly or not managed, these situations can affect the organization of work.

Some effects are visible as a refusal to collaborate , a minimal and violent communication . A deleterious atmosphere then reigns and clans are formed.
Other consequences are invisible, such as the concealment of information or even the dissemination of false information. There are also inexplicable blockages on important projects for the company or slowdowns in the implementation of action plans. These situations can be interpreted as sabotage.
The performance of the company is then affected.

Types of conflicts

There are as many conflict situations as there are businesses, but, in general, they are classified into nine broad categories. A distinction is made between conflicts of interest , identity , authority , generation , opinion , hidden , repressed , declared and misunderstanding . The latter is the conflict most often observed, but, good news, it is also the easiest to resolve. Finally, there are the so-called “ destructive ” conflicts and, conversely, those which are described as “ constructive ”. From these comes an enriching experience.
These conflicts often appear during a change in the organization of the company.

Management by line manager

The intervention of a line manager is an essential prerequisite for the resolution of any conflict situation in the company . The first rule to apply is to take the lead, because the longer you wait, the more the conflict is likely to worsen.
The second is, without question, to renew the dialogue , which is often broken in the event of conflict or dispute. A true mediator, the line manager must observe and analyze, preferably without judging, in order to effectively ease tensions.

Back to constructive communication

Other methods have also proven themselves in the management of conflicts within organizations. Among them: the holding of regular meetings , whether formal or informal . We can never repeat enough the importance of outings with colleagues , relaxed afterworks or strategic seminars .
Training in non-violent communication and valuing work are essential skills. Remember that if the emotion is present, it is impossible to bring the collaborator to reason and to ease the tensions. Benevolence and empathy , which consist in seeking the possible positive intention of the employee, are fundamental to managing disputes.

The interim manager

Specialists in critical situations, Interim Managers are the people best suited to managing a conflict in a company.
They generally intervene in two scenarios: to replace the absence of a Manager at short notice or to manage a change in the organization. Their mission and their presence being limited in time, the Interim Managers aim for maximum efficiency by combining all skills.
Having no intention of occupying a fixed place in the company, they do not adopt careerist attitudes. Coming from outside, they have the advantage of not being responsible for the history of the company nor of being “polluted” by it. They can therefore analyze situations in the interest of the company. They decide with hindsight without letting emotions play. They will be able to resolve severe conflicts, without being tempted, at one time or another, to “go in the sand”.

In business , as in personal life, disagreements are inevitable. We must always prevent them from degenerating. The role of the Line Manager is to prevent these risks by strengthening team spirit , highlighting the skills of each person and recalling the interest of the company . He must quickly detect the appearance of a conflict , ease tensions and restore the desire to work. If he does not have the skills, the strength or the will, he can call on a Transition Manager.

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