Posted on: Tuesday August 06th, 2013

Author: Ronnie Baskind

Conflict is a word that has negative connotations for most people. This is because their perception is framed by the value system of the society in which they live. The word conflict is used generically with reference to tension, for example, between the East and West, or to friction between parent and child. But conflict does not necessarily need to be negative.

Conflict can simply be a dynamic process of interaction between people or groups. These people are likely to have opposing goals or needs, and have different value systems. The traditional approach to conflict is to avoid it. This does not deal with the issue. An interactive approach to conflict resolution is a far better response. Conflict can serve as a source of personal growth and can be “managed” so that development can be achieved.  To be able to manage conflict effectively, a good knowledge of human dynamics, both individual and group behaviour, is required.

Personality types and responses

Because people are different, they need to be dealt with differently. Try to identify the personality types of the people in the meeting, and then apply the following guidelines to manage conflict effectively.

The Fighter

Refer his arguments back to the group

The Talker

Interrupt him and ask for a specific solution

The Hair Splitter

Acknowledge his exceptions and bring him back to the main discussion and practical realit

The Know All

Ask him for his alternate solutions and refer them back to the group

The Listener

Encourage him to give his opinions

The Analyst

Ask him to summarise or give an overview of the discussion