In the areas of work, it is quite normal for conflicts to arise since many people working together means different views being put together, and in most cases this does not end well. Therefore, the one in charge of the whole organization has to practice both patience and fairness in order to succeed, and failure to do so would lead to unwanted disputes. With disputes, the people working feel neglected and in turn the areas that they work on are left or their performance becomes poor. For this reason, disputes should be taken seriously and resolved as fast as possible. Once an obstacle has been identified, innovation of creative ideas is required to make the warring parties cooperate rather than clash.
The diversity of people’s backgrounds provides a recipe for organizational conflicts. Doherty (2008) observes that “effective conflict management requires the use of mediation skills through negotiation, with an effort to make warring parties shift their position in order to reach a solution” (p. 165). Before rushing to a conclusion or victimizing one of the warring parties, one of the mediatory skills is give both parties a chance to tell their stories. This helps in shedding more light by identifying the root cause of the conflict, bringing new information and making both parties feel accommodated.
Since warring parties are so focused on maintaining and securing their position, a good mediator should have the ability to provide an unbiased reality check, in order to identify the true impediment which might derail the negotiation process. Once an obstacle has been identified, innovation of creative ideas is required in order to make the warring parties cooperate rather than clash. Depending on the conflict at hand to be resolved, the negotiation process should never be rushed, but paced carefully in order to avoid a reoccurrence of similar conflicts in the future. According to Doherty (2008) conflict resolution is always a slippery process which requires an adequate understanding of human behavior, and an attentive person who has the ability of being neutral to amicably resolve the problem, thus bringing harmony out of any organizational conflict.
Paying attention to the stories of both sides give one the ability to read their minds and conceptualize how each party views the conflict. Reading people’s minds entails three important items i.e., noticing the body language, in terms of how they make eye contact, fold their arms, fidgeting, facial tension or becoming defensive; careful listening to determine people’s type, whether they are visual, auditory or kinesthetic; and making use of props which act as icebreakers, identify the people’s learning styles and put them at ease for effective negotiation.
The problem with disputes or complaints is the way the issue is presented. Some of the ways the issues are forwarded to the people concerned may create more problems rather than provide solutions. For instance, if by any chance the workers have issues with the managerial staff, protocols should be applied so that the issue is resolved, and the same applies if the managers and supervisor are the ones having an issue with the staff.
Conflict resolution case study
In a town in New Jersey, at the North Precinct in Gwinnet, there was an issue in the police department. This is ironical since the police department is responsible for bringing law and order in the city. In fact, the issue became serious since if it was not well taken care of, then the residents of North Precinct live could have been in danger. The department that had issues that needed to be resolved was the patrol department. The danger behind this was the fact that the area is an economical area, supported by a Shipyard and also multiple manufacturing plants. So if the patrol officer had unresolved issues, the businesses and member of that area would be at serious risk.
In this scenario, the conflict that was there being the fact that some officer complained that they were overworked in comparison with other officers. That is to say that the duties were not evenly distributed amongst the officers. The officers that were given more burden or duties to handle complained that they might run a risk of getting not only physical stress, but also mental stress that could have them placed in jeopardy in their next call.
Since Jonathan Wilroy supervises the patrol officer in the evening shift, the complaint is directed to him. In fact, the officers that have trouble with the work load have requested to meet with Sergeant Wilroy so as to discuss than issue. What happens in the office is that Officer Jason Alexander, who is the main proponent of the workload change for the shift, ensures that everything runs smoothly. Officer Alexander is responsible for receiving and assigning calls for service by dispatch to every supervisor. A good example of how labor is unevenly distributed is seen by how Officer Baker runs from call to call every night while, and on the other hand, Officer Zachary responds to only one or two calls per night.
What drives the conflict is the fact that some officers are overworked in comparison to other officers something that seems rather unfair especially since they are on the same rank. The complainant further claims that dispatches are given to officers according to their names, and the officers whose last name falls at the beginning of the alphabet get to be assigned more duties as compared to those that last name falls at the end of the alphabet.
What officer Wilroy should do so as to have this problem solved is to have considerable communicating skills. Instead of complaining and being unprofessional, the officer should come up with evidence that will clearly show how then work is unevenly distributed. Perhaps a recommended list that officers are required to fill, so as to see the work that they have managed to do all through the night. That way even without complaining, the unevenly work distribution would be evident. Instead of complaining of the unfair distribution of dispatch, and then having to the case or argument with his colleague that have no problem when it comes to the method of job distribution in the office.
Another thing that the officer could have done so as to resolve the issues is to create a forum. This forum would be attended by the entire officer and the supervisors. In the forum, the officers would have a well managed discussion that they will air the methods of job distribution. Every officer will openly say of how and when they receive the jobs. That way the supervisors can compare responses and have a clear visual of where the issue arises. By doing so, there will be disputed evidence since every officer will be talking of what happens in the office without hiding any truth.
In conclusion, it does not matter if there is a conflict in the place of work since it is something that is quite normal. The issue arises on how the conflict is being handled. From the time a problem is discovered, and how it is forwarded to the ones who are concerned, and later how the issue gets to be resolved is what matters. The communication chain should be open so that no one complains behind the scenes. In case there is an issue in the department that one work in and managers are not aware, the staff should forward the issue as soon as they can so as to have a peaceful working condition. According to Doherty (2008) conflict resolution is always a slippery process which requires an adequate understanding of human behavior, and an attentive person who has the ability of being neutral to amicably resolve the problem, thus bringing harmony out of any organizational conflict.