3 Ways to manage Conflict at Home and Work Place

Conflicts are inherent to our social life. They are integral to growth and change. We face conflicts within, we experience conflicts when dealing with various people in family, in social circles and at workplace.

Conflicts are latent in the beginning and start developing if not addressed in the beginning only. We as individuals intend to deny the conflict in the nascent stage but when it starts causing symptoms like frustration, unhappiness, frequent disagreement, we have to recognize the existence of a certain conflict; we need to find ways to manage the conflict before it turns into an aggressive one.

Many organizational leaders have admitted that they learn conflict management skills from their mothers and wives who succeed in handling many conflicts using various techniques – early handling of conflict, continuous negotiating or building up rapports with many people.

A homemaker deals regularly with a fleet of domestic help, maid, driver, grocery vendors, and service providers for gadgets. A mother deals with sibling conflicts, conflicts of kids with her / family and her inner conflicts. Extended families in India intensify or pacify conflicts depending on their personnel equation with you or your family.

If we are able to solve the conflicts arising in our families, they teach us lessons to manage organizational conflicts.

  • A keen observation of each family member gives us a fair idea about their thoughts, behavior and expectations. Our observations can help us smell the brewing conflicts before they become too strong to handle.
  • Unmet expectations cause major conflicts which can be handled by effective communication. When we dive deep within, we can see the seeds of dissent / disagreement that are causing the conflict. Discussion with the other person using assertive and empathetic words can resolve the conflict.
  • Feeling of possessiveness and a desire to control leads to many conflicts in the family. Ego clashes and a bossy attitude kill many relationships in the organisations. It is very important for seniors in the family and leaders in the organisations to have emotional intelligence (self awareness) to deal with their self love. Hierarchies are getting smoothened at unprecedented pace, let us imbibe that.

The major conflict hotbeds in a family: mother – in – law & daughter – in – law, husband – wife, sibling – sibling, parent – offspring create more conflict scenarios than many organisations and offer multiple, creative solutions too.

The biggest difference though is the way we look at conflicts in family and conflicts at work.

In family, we try to accept the differences and develop coping strategies as we think life term (not short term or long term). In organisations, we manage conflicts with a ‘fix it’ approach and we have a choice of keeping it short term or letting it go.

Keeping a check on egos, expectations, possessiveness can nip a lot of familial conflicts in the bud. Families flourish when difference of opinions / choices is respected and long term happy togetherness is cherished as a goal.