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From time to time, a group of people working together disagree and it results in conflicts between them. It is hard to escape conflict as different individuals have varying beliefs, points of view, personalities, and experiences (Billikopf, 2009). Experiencing conflict is natural. However, the phenomenon can get out of hand especially when the parties involved feel blocked from achieving what they desire or they feel threatened. For instance, in the analyzed case, both the managers and the employees feel threatened as well as blocked from achieving what they want. The managers feel that the new employment practice will result in losing employees whereas their departments need more employees. On the other hand, the employees are complaining about the vast workload.
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The aim of resolving conflicts is to find solutions to the issues facing an organization as well as to help people with varying perspectives reach an agreement. An effective conflict resolution entails recognizing conflict in time, identifying its consequences, finding its source, and coming up with a plan of action.
Mediation is a term used to describe the methodology of settling a conflict between more than one party with tangible effects (Billikopf, 2009). In mediation, a third party helps conflicting parties negotiate and reach a solution. The mediation process entails a number of steps. According to scholars, the mediation process has five phases. In the first phase, contact phase, the mediator gives the conflicting parties detailed information with regards to the process of mediation. He also collects information on the conflict from the disputants. If the conflicting parties want to reach an agreement, then a mediation agreement is drafted. Opening meeting is the second phase. In this phase, the mediator states the guidelines of the process. Also, he allows the conflicting parties to summarize their issues as well as set their mediation goals.
Conducting meetings and caucuses with the conflicting parties is the next step. The mediator has the responsibility of reviewing the classified nature of the disputants’ statements and bring forth the main interests as well as other key information that is required for resolution (Lorenzen, 2006). Joint meetings symbolize an expansion of the caucus step. In this case, the disputing parties are given an opportunity to directly communicate with each other with an aim of achieving a consensual resolution. Lastly, the closing phase entails a review of the completeness and accuracy of the agreement, thus concluding the mediation process (Kaiser et al. 2008). It is expected that some of the conflicting parties may refuse to take part or pull out from the process of mediation. With regard to this, leaders are required to use certain leadership skills and abilities in order to motivate the disputing parties towards mediation. These include coaching, involving others, communicating, promoting teamwork, as well as rewarding among others.
Parties should be encouraged to take on cooperative approach as it is essential in conflict mediation. Frequently, it is carried out in the beginning of the caucus sessions as ground rules. According to studies, having cooperative strategies and goals results in efficient conflict resolution (Lorenzen, 2006). The mediator has the role of empowering the parties by assisting them in identifying their general interests, thus working out a collaborative approach.
Communication skills are essential in conflict resolution. Through communication, the mediator will be able to motivate the parties involved in a conflict towards resolution. It is so since cooperation exists that permits every party to unearth the arguments and position of the other in order to obtain an acceptable solution (Agardy, 2009). Through exchange of information, parties are able to evaluate the knowledge and thinking of one another, therefore diminishing misunderstanding and confusion.
By giving parties equal chances to communicate, mediator's impartiality will be communicated. Parties must be permitted to express their feelings and perspectives without dominations and interruptions. Besides, giving equal chances for people to respond to matters raised is an effective technique of resolving conflicts.
While drafting dispute resolutions, it is important to involve others. According to the theory of Management By Objectives (MBO), staffs are more dedicated to the goals and objectives that they have assisted to create (Agardy, 2009). This is similar to dispute resolution. Bearing in mind that different parties are involved in a conflict, the mediator should make sure that each party benefits from the resolution. It is also important to seek resolutions to avoid the occurrence of future disputes.
Mediation techniques necessitate that all the parties involved in a conflict be fully involved in the resolution process and be responsible for making significant decisions to resolve the issues at hand without causing more harm. In order to achieve successful mediation, the employees should be trained and coached on how to use right language and necessary skills to communicate effectively as well as reach a common ground. The management should ensure that this coachings are offered by trained mediat.
Employee motivation is key to the performance of a business. Scholars have put forth several ways of motivating employees. They include rewarding and promoting employees. Rewarding employees include giving them gifts and increasing their salary (Kaiser et al. 2008). Promotion entails moving employees a notch higher in the management ladder.
In conclusion, applying certain leadership skills and abilities in this case would help reach a common ground. It is due to the reason that certain abilities would help explain the situation to the CEO, managers, as well as the employees. Endorsing new employment practices is a good idea but unless an agreement is reached and all parties air their views, conflict will always prevail. The skills and abilities to be employed in the current case include abilities to listen, value, as well as influence knowledge and ideas, communicate, involve others, make decisions, shape strategy, and build unity among the embroiled members (Billikopf, 2009).