Conflict can be a common part of many workplaces. While conflict can encourage change and inspire new ideas and processes, it is equally important to know how to negotiate during conflicts. Negotiation and conflict resolution skills allow you to reach a reasonable outcome among all parties. In this post, you are introduced to what conflict negotiation is, the techniques for conflict resolution, and why negotiation and conflict resolution are important.
Dispute resolution is a process that is best approached by using conflict resolution and negotiation techniques. Conflict resolution techniques attempt to reconcile the differences, violations, or incompatibilities that occurred with a resolution allowing all parties involved to move forward towards a common goal.
But how does negotiation relate to conflict resolution?
Negotiation involves resolving disputes or differences and reaching an agreement between two or more parties. This appears very similar to a wider concept of conflict resolution. However, the two concepts exist separately. One may impact the other during any given dispute and at any time.
For example, if a party experiences conflict during the negotiation process, the party may seek conflict resolution so negotiations can continue.
Similarly, two or more parties experiencing conflicts may also find that the primary conflict is a dispute that might have a resolution via negotiations.
What are the potential sources of conflict during a negotiation?
It is common to experience conflict in the midst of negotiating an agreement. Two parties involved in the process often have different perceptions, goals, and outlooks, which may prove to be a source of conflict. Sometimes situations may pop up during the negotiation process that effectively stall even the most well-meant conflict resolution and negotiation strategies.
Common sources of conflict during negotiation include:
- The difference in core beliefs
- Difference in goals
- The difference in personality styles
- Lack of resources
- Differences in status, expertise, power, and influence
- Confusion taking responsibilities
How can you employ conflict resolution during a negotiation?
- Address the conflict, not the person
- It is always wise to address the issue first instead of another negotiator’s personality.
- Engage in active listening
Active listening will result in a deeper understanding of the issue and the other negotiator’s needs, which will likely enhance mutual trust.
- Find shared interests
Before beginning to negotiate, it is always advisable to try and identify the other negotiators’ needs and find common ground. This may very well lead to a win-win situation.
- Set an objective
It is critical to developing an objective to work toward resolving conflict. Having a clear objective that requires give and take is a key element to a successful negotiation.
- Determine the best alternative for negotiating an agreement
Entering a discussion with the best alternatives in mind will provide an opportunity to minimize conflict and foster compromise. Know when to walk away.
Yes, conflict can certainly stall negotiations, but in the end, the agreement remains within reach with the implementation of negotiation and conflict resolution strategies. Approaching negotiation and conflict resolution as part of a process allows both to work together, providing you tools to enhance the probability of success.
If conflict is hampering your result, ‘The Collaboration Effect’ by Michael Gregory can help. This text will give you confidence when sailing through difficult situations, allow you to focus on the tasks at hand, and help you gain peace in both your personal and professional relationships.
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