What would be the most effective conflict resolution plan to resolve an issue where human relations are disrupted.

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Conflict negotiation should be done by a trained mediator, especially in a business setting. This is because the human factor is as important as the mission and vision of an organization, therefore, severing human relations, or conflicting behaviors will definitely affect the daily dynamics negatively.

The best course of action is to invite a mediator which is impartial to the arguing parties to lay on the table what exactly are the issues at hand. Writing lists and categorizing issues by whether they are

  • a) real or assumed
  • b) stagnant (the issue has remained the same for a period of time) or dynamic (keeps growing, getting worse)
  • c) resolved by means of items or attitudes
  • d) caused by existing factors or imaginary ones.

The mediator will then apply, depending on the situation several conflict management strategies, the most effective interventions are:

  • competing
  • collaborating
  • avoiding
  • accommodating

All of these strategies are ultimately used to achieve compromise which, in itself, is achievable through mutual cooperation.

Competing is the win-lose approach. Sometimes ceding the final word avoids a bigger problem. Although it is not the best way to negotiate a conflict, it may work for last minute decisions or fast decisions such as firing or hiring someone. It is high-risk choice making that requires high assertiveness with low cooperation.

Accommodating is making amends to try and fit a situation to benefit an employee's unique situation. It requires a lot of cooperation and it is best used to maintain human relations. Someone with a good sense of awareness knows exactly how to oblige to benefit a situation, not necessarily someone else. Therefore, if you use an accommodation as a solution to a conflict, a mediation must occur for both parties to understand how ceding will ultimately help everyone move on.

Collaborating, which is the most cooperative and assertive way of resolving issues, entails that both parties are willing to do what it takes to move the issue out of the way for the sake of something bigger and better in the end. Full understanding of the problem, what is causing it, and the effect of the behaviors of each party is essential to reach a positive result. This requires a lot of maturity and willingness to reach an agreement.

Compromising, or bargaining is often the solution for issues involving large disputing parties. Sometimes it is best to find some common ground where both parties are somewhat satisfied with the end result.

As you can see, it is impossible to apply one course of action to conflict resolution because you have to consider personality types, the extent of the issue, and how the resolution will affect the overall health of the organization.