You can look at a conflict as a stumbling block or stepping stone. Therefore, a conflict can lead to negative results or a positive resolution depending on how it is handled. When you define conflict objectively versus subjectively, it means finding a new way to handle a situation. If both sides can elaborate on their differences, misperceptions can be clarified and resolved.
Cooperativeness, Not Competition, Is the Goal
Therefore, conflict management resolution, or CRM, works at helping two parties to resolve an issue. The emphasis is not one that involves struggling. Rather, the focus is on negotiation and resolution. Unfortunately, in a battle, if one of the sides wins, the loser will seek a rematch in most cases. However, by focusing on a problem, a climate of cooperativeness and not competition is developed.
In the novel, “A Farewell to Arms,” by Ernest Hemingway, one character is described as follows: “He was strong in the broken places.” Everyone can be broken by life. However, if we learn strength in those broken places, the opportunities for resolution increase. As a result, CRM focuses on the strengths of relationships or the shared needs and concerns of the parties. This aspect is given attention instead of an unshared division.
How CRM Professionals Focus on Problems
CRM professionals know that in order to solve problems, they must make sure that the parties’ responses are based more on fact than opinion. In turn, any misperceptions are affirmed and clarified and do not continue. That means conflict management consulting emphasises active listening, not passive hearing. Conflicts usually escalate when partners attempt to talk more than listen. When they do listen, it only serves as a time-out for verbal rearming. By listening well, you can build solid relationships. Poor listeners, on the other hand, have many acquaintances.
When any conflict is resolved, it helps to select a place other than the battleground. After all, armies do not sign peace treaties close to or in war zones. Those areas are off-limits as they are a hub of too many emotions. Setting aside a peace area dilutes the tensions between combatants.
Ending Conflicts Takes Time
Needless to say, CRM is not a quick process. After all, it takes time for disputes to start and develop. It also takes time to end conflicts. That means working on each small doable conflict at a time. Unfortunately, conflicts begin with a small wound and, if ignored, become bigger than the original issue.
Part of the skillset of a CRM professional is forgiveness. Whilst some people may say they are going to bury the hatchet, they also mark precisely where they dig it into the ground. That is not the goal of CRM. Forgiveness is part of the resolution so the parties can go forward positively. Vengeance, on the other hand, looks backward or focuses on the past.
An expert CRM professional can assist communities, organisations, and boards to develop sustainable policies and governance frameworks whilst improving communication, engagement, and decision-making processes.
In turn, then, CRM professionals are needed to support engagement, facilitate difficult discussions, deal with workplace differences, manage relationships, and coach managers to build capacity when dealing with employee disputes.