Organizational conflict doesn’t have to be scary or detrimental to your career and job performance. In fact, there are several ways you can approach conflict in the workplace that can end up making your workplace more enjoyable and improving overall employee morale. Read this guide on how to overcome fear of organizational conflict to learn more about some of the best ways to approach, handle, and mitigate workplace conflict so you can come out on top every time.
What is organizational conflict?
A conflict is a divergence between the requirements, principles, and interests of people or groups within an organization. Any scenario wherein two or more sides feel disagreement is a conflict. It is an organizational process that results from arguments about the objectives or the means to achieve them. You can deal with these workplace conflicts with proper career guidance.
Important features of organizational conflict
To learn how to overcome fear of organizational conflict, we must first comprehend the nature of conflict and its effects on the company. The following are the positive defining features of organizational conflict:
1. It’s an effective tool for improving analytical thinking.
A critical analysis is needed in order to either defend the ideas, opinions, rules, policies, objectives, and plans that have been challenged as a result of the conflict or to make any necessary adjustments to those that have been challenged. There is no circumstance that is more harmful to an organization than one in which incorrect judgments are allowed to stand without being questioned.
2. Strengthens unity among coworkers.
In order to compete with outsiders, it helps to increase cohesiveness by developing loyalty and unity within an organization, as well as a stronger sense of group identity. The conflict between organizations also promotes loyalty and cohesion within an organization. It contributes to increased levels of devotion and commitment to the objectives of the company.
3. Conflict encourages competition
It has been noticed that some people get a great deal of motivation from hostile environments and intense rivalry. For example, a researcher who has been passed over for promotion because of disagreements within the institution may choose to put in more effort in order to demonstrate he is more skilled and warrants a higher position. As a result, it has the potential to result in a significant amount of effort and production.
4. It provides a foundation for organizational development.
Confrontation with the existing order is an essential element in the transformation process. People who are creative and inventive are always on the lookout for new reasons to disrupt the status quo. These problems cause people to look for other ways to approach the established patterns, which ultimately results in organizational transformation and growth.
5. It helps to ease the tensions.
Certain conflicts, if left unvoiced, might result in imaginary distortions of reality, a feeling of annoyance and stress, excessive mental exaggerations, and prejudiced judgments, all of which can lead to dread and mistrust.
Five major ways of dealing with organizational conflict
Conflict may be both productive and harmful to an organization. The differentiation is dependent on the management of the dispute. Sometimes, conflict is unavoidable. Working through disagreement may provide several good benefits. Effectively handled disagreement may facilitate positive transformation.
There are five primary approaches to managing organizational conflict. Understanding how and when to use every type can help manage disputes and cause an improved work environment, resulting in a greater bottom line. Additionally, understanding how to deal with disagreements helps diminish the fear of conflict in the workplace by exposing it for what it truly is: a problem that requires a solution.
People who cooperate are aggressive as well as agreeable; they seek to work with colleagues to find a solution that completely fulfills everyone’s concerns, and they do this by working together to find that answer. This approach, which is the polar opposite of avoidance, allows both parties to receive what they want while simultaneously reducing the intensity of unpleasant emotions. Collaborating is most successful whenever close friendship and achievement are of paramount importance.
People who compete are forceful and unwilling to cooperate with others, and they are eager to pursue their own objectives at the cost of another person. When you don’t care about the connection but the result is crucial, like when contending with another firm for a new customer, using this approach is effective since it allows you to focus on the outcome rather than the relationship. However, since it does not contribute to the development of relationships, you should not utilize competition as a method for managing conflicts inside your firm.
Those that steer clear of confrontation have a propensity to be passive and uncooperative, engage in diplomatic evasion of a problem, or just remove themselves from potentially dangerous circumstances. You should only use this strategy when it would be safer to delay dealing with the matter or when you don’t have as large of a worry about the result, such as when you have a disagreement with a co-worker over their ethics on the job.
When accommodating another person’s needs, there is often a sacrifice made by the accommodating party in order to win that person’s approval. Even while it may seem to be giving, it might really take full advantage of the vulnerable and lead to feelings of bitterness. When you actually don’t care that much about the result but you do want to maintain or grow the connection, you might employ the accommodating strategy.
While retaining some degree of assertiveness and cooperativeness, the goal of this approach is to locate a speedy and mutually acceptable solution to the issue that partly satisfies both parties involved in the dispute. When the conclusion is not critical and you are wasting time, for instance, if you would like to merely make a choice and proceed on to more basic essentials and are prepared to give a small amount to have the decision made, this approach is the most effective one to adopt. However, you should be aware that when compromising, no one will ever be really happy with the result.
Causes of organizational conflict
Let’s first talk about the causes of organizational conflict and that will give you an in-depth idea of how to overcome the fear of organizational conflict.
1. Interdependence between departments and groups:
Interdependence between Departments and Groups: When resources are restricted within an organization, mutual dependency produces conflict. In the face of limited resources, each department or organization attempts to portray its needs as important. This is a simple way conflict arises within an organization.
2. Divergent objectives
When resources are few and operational-level employees demand high pay, a conflict may occur between both the operational force and management. Given the limited resources, management believes the demand is unjustified and untimely. A system of competitive rewards also produces friction between diverse units and organizations. Any organization that exerts significant effort receives more benefits and achieves its objectives. It will cause tension among other group members.
3. Differences in perception
One way to describe perspectives is as the process of gathering information via one’s multiple senses, giving that information meaning, and organizing that meaning into a cohesive pattern based on one’s previous experiences. Interpretation is a psychological component of a person’s personality that is dependent, on the one hand, on the system of communication and information and, on the other hand, on the psychological development of the person. This is because interpretation is a two-way process. With different people working in the same organization each having different perspectives, conflict might arise when the workers have varying ideas on how to deal with the same issue, all based on their perspectives.
Strategies for managing conflict in the workplace
You must learn how to overcome fear of organizational conflict if you have fear of conflict in the workplace. To get over your fear of conflict in the workplace, you need to realize that conflict arises whenever there is a need for a change in the organizational structure and that it is often appropriate to embrace conflict and find a suitable way to manage it. Only then will you be able to overcome your fear. A lack of trust inside an organization might cause a fear of dispute. When the foundation of a team is trust, disagreement may be reframed as the search for the truth.
Every single member of the group works together to devise the most effective solution to the issues at hand. This implies that things will become awkward, and various points of view will come into conflict with one another. That is a positive development.
If the members of the team never make the company of one another feel uneasy, then it follows that assumptions are not being tested, and the situation will unquestionably be the same as it has been from the beginning to the end. This indicates that it is the responsibility of the team managers to illustrate how conflict may be utilized to thoroughly examine ideas and workshop methods. This will result in the greatest possible results for the team and will enable you to make progress toward your organization’s objectives.
Remember that conflict is normal and can actually be healthy if you know how to overcome fear of organizational conflict and ensure that you always get the most growth out of every conflict that arises.