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Conflict Resolution

Managing Personality Conflicts in an Organization

jaya sinha asked:

All businesses have to face conflicting personality types which is a grim reality and needs to be taken up seriously.

Even the survey done by Accountemps, the world’s first and the largest staffing service company in Indiana revealed that the managers working in them  spend almost seven hours per week in attending to these differing personalities. This leads to a loss in the organizational productivity and hampers growth.

As a C.E.O or a manager of a company, one comes across employees, amidst whom some employees are serious and shy, some are aggressive and outspoken, some are introvert and laid back with few others so humorous to the extent that causes a diversion of the minds from the melancholy to a cool atmosphere.

These changes in the behavioral aspects and attitudes often lead to slight scuffle or friction between the employees or between the superiors and the subordinates, which needs immediate resolution. Often the habits of an employee are so erred that he needs constant attention in order to get resurrected.

In order to manage these personality conflicts, prevention and control both are necessary. And, more so it should be custom based to suit each personality type.

But, before any recommendations do pour in, let us understand why these conflicts arise.

Due to the basic differences in attitude and personality type, every employee has his own way and style of communication. And due to the gap in communication, misunderstanding do give rise to cold wars and feeling of ill-will towards each other. If this remains unchecked for a long time, it may result in back-biting and even minute bickerings.

Other reasons are the employees have different mind sets according to which they differ in their productivity. And, hence some get praise and are even entitled to awards, while some remain in the shambles.Consequently, they start disavowing each other.

A manager in an IT firm handling projects regularly used to complain of his subordinates who had minor tussles almost on a daily basis. And, he was unable to sort out the issue. The reason cited was a difference in their behaviour and personality traits.

The solution here is not to dismiss the employee who is found to be guilty. But, there ought to be unique ways of conflict management.

These are the tips:

•    Keep a Constructive and not destructive approach: This means, either an employee or a boss should think positively. If an employee is too offensive to tackle, he should not be subjected to sheer criticism. Rather he should be tackled politely.

•    Assess the employee and understand his problems: An employee might not have been conditioned in a sophisticated or cultured environment which would have enabled him to behave responsibly in an organization. So, it’s time to make him understand the importance of team spirit and team thinking. Often, an employee behaves irresponsibly because of his personal problems ensuing at his home. He needs then counseling.

•    Maintain individual’s privacy: If an employee is rebuked in front of his colleagues or subordinates, he feels oppressed and this may impede his performance on work. So, take him to a conference room or may be cafeteria where he feels comfortable. This is sure to bring a tremendous change in his personality and the way he perceives the world.

•    Encourage and admire good work: The superior as well the peers should admire the good work that has been done by an employee.

•    Hold open forums: The employees should be encouraged to come out and  discuss in the open forum. This will facilitate a healthy interaction and friendly environment. Thus, lesser chances of conflicts.

•    Bring cross-functional teams together: When groups from different divisions come closer, they get to know about their likings, dislikings, their aptitude, etiquettes etc. But, ensure that positive communication is enhanced and employees in the teams turn out to be great friends and not foes.

Recently, there has been substantial change in the technology environment. Due to the demands for increasing creativity, innovation and knowledge, the competition has become intense. Due to this, an employee usually gets lesser chances for interaction with other employees and almost negligible likelihood with cross-functional teams. In such cases, best method is to organize special events or company parties where there is fair dealing and exchange of good words.

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