Topic 2 Preventing conflicts

Despite the use of best practices, as well as good conflict prevention and management tools, it is possible that in such a sensitive scope of work a conflict may arise.

In order to prevent conflicts, the meetings shall focus on subjects that unite all participants, completely avoiding to accept disputes about religion basics, and to skip debates on each religion merits.

International problems among religious groups, or among countries, may trigger tension. Particularly, Jewish communities are always under pressure, not only due to the historical track record of their people, but also due to the conflict in Israel and Palestine.

  • Conflicts of ideas - This type of conflict often arises when two colleagues work on the same project but have different ideas about how they approach it. However, while this difference of perspective is entirely normal since past professional experiences influence our current perceptions and beliefs, it should not lead to conflict. Here, the altercation arises from the fact that everyone believes in the infallibility of their opinions and does not take the time to listen to the arguments of their interlocutor.
  • Conflicts of interest - A person experiences a conflict of interest when one defends his/her interest towards and against all. This type of conflict is therefore widespread between colleagues and between supervisors and agents. Every individual tries to defend their own interests instead of trying to find a win-win arrangement.
  • Interpersonal conflicts - These are simply animosity between two people, resulting from a feeling of competition, a past disagreement, or incompatibility of characters (clashing personalities) or differences of opinion.
  • Authority conflicts - Authority conflicts arise when one person encroaches on another’s missions. Hence, it is important to clearly define each person’s tasks as soon as they take up a position or start a project.
  • Misunderstandings - Misunderstandings are the most frequent relationship conflict but also the easiest to resolve. They are a result, as the name suggests, from a misinterpretation, a misunderstanding.

Source: Coachhub

How to prevent conflicts: types of conflict management

Stephen R. Covey, a famous American speaker and author, claims in his book of conflict management theory, ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, that shared values ​​play a central role in the organisation’s life, as it helps in developing collective intelligence. This mission statement then brings together the organisation’s values and the values ​​shared by all the members. Everyone’s engagement process contributes to the result and its proper use.
A true foundation for well-being at work, trust considerably reduces conflict situations between employees. The leaders’ role is, therefore, to inspire confidence to promote confidentiality, but also to have confidence in their employees. Thus, the leader, through a transformational leadership, must create the necessary conditions and space of trust – change management in action.

Management of conflicts

Communication is essential, and even more so in times of conflict. And for good reason, most of the conflicts listed above result from a lack of communication, but also of listening. Because yes, effective communication requires active and attentive listening. You should try to help people in conflict to verbalise their problems and emotions.
Conflict resolution necessarily requires a solution that meets the interests and needs of everyone. The ideal would then be to find a win-win solution, where everyone is happy. However, things are rarely that simple. Therefore, it will be necessary either to opt for a compromise, where each one revises its requirements downwards, or for an imposed solution.

Concluding tips for conflict prevention and management

  • Preventing and managing these stressful situations can be complicated at times, and there are undoubtedly pros and cons.
  • Nevertheless, we should not try to run away from the problem, because it is often in these periods that the best ideas are born.
  • To master non-violent communication, to learn to manage conflicts better, to develop confidence in oneself and others or to gain in leadership are part of the soft skills to be developed to cope with tense situations.