Human Resource Management – Conflict Resolution Process

Conflict Resolution Process

Keeping into consideration, as there are many causes of conflict, so are the many approaches to its resolution. However, most conflict are resolved through a pattern but, not all conflict resolution follows this outline, nor are all the stages necessary for a satisfactory outcome, but the model does discussed here represent the generic process. There are no magic processes or formulas to conflict resolution, but the above process will help by alerting you to what stage is coming next and what you should be working towards.

The Four Stages-

  • Identification of the problem - The first step should be directly related to identifying the problem, basically knowing about the root cause from where the problem/ conflict popped in. These causes and their reasons should be based on facts, do not work with opinions, hearsay or emotions.
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  • Arguments and Responses - This is to and fro step, during which the parties or people involved put forward their cases as strongly as possible usually applying distorted thinking to support their respective positions. It is emphasized on working with the other person, discovering where they are coming from why they have taken the position they possess currently. You do not have to agree with it, but to achieve movement you need to work from it.
  • Developing and Evaluating - Options In this phase, the ideas are generated, solutions suggested, concessions are made and bargains struck one or the other way. Depending on power, needs, timing, a possible option gradually becomes acceptable to both sides. As it is an improvement on the BATNA it is accepted by both sides.

BATNA is a mechanism to measure a proposal against a realistic alternative. With a BATNA one can review what would happen if one did not get an agreement. Basically, the better your alternatives to what is being offered, the stronger your position is. Conversely, the fewer attractive alternative options you have, the less power you have.

  • Resolution and Agreement - In this last step, the stakeholders agree on an option or line of action which hopefully, for the most part, is acceptable to both sides / parties and felt to be fair. In an ideal situation it is a win/win outcome. Resolution could be formal, as in a joint statement, or less formal as in a handshake or verbal agreement.

Whatever form of agreement, those involved accept that the conflict is resolved.

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