Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Conflict resolution is something that I have recently gained a lot of insight on. For my group's interviews, we were assigned the theme of conflict resolution to base our questions on for our interviewees. What I found to be very interesting was that all 3 of my interviewees, who work in completely different fields, had the common belief that there is no such thing as a conflict-free workplace. At first I thought this was kind of sad and depressing to think about, that at some point in every organization, people will fight with each other. But then I realized that not only is it natural for human beings to conflict, but that it serves as an excellent opportunity to grow and learn from both personally and as an organization. Conflict in organizations reminds me a lot of fighting with my sisters when I was a little girl. We would bicker over something trivial then be forced to reconcile and apologize by our parents. I never understood the point of forced reconciliation because it was so insincere and everybody knew that. So isn't no apology better than a fake one? Well looking back on those years now I have learned the answer. While insincerity is useless, not saying anything and just waiting for the other to apologize first or for it all to blow over is even worse. If we all just sit around waiting or doig nothing, then nothing gets done but the tension is still there and it grows. Negotiation seems like a loss for both parties, because each person is losing something, but it is better that each gain something small than nothing at all. This is applicable to organizational conflict resolution because we might feel like if we don't get our way then the world will end, but in reality, its much better to just swallow our pride and walk away with something rather than nothing.