From the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, my conflict style includes conflicting and avoiding. While the former means that I am a power-oriented individual that only concentrates on self-interest, the latter describes me as an uncooperative and unassertive person that avoids the main conflict and opts on taking other measures such as diplomacy or even postponing the problem. I profoundly disagree with the assessment as it does not provide my leadership attributes based on how I perceive myself and my relationship with my peers. I consider myself more of a collaborative and accommodating individual that aims at making others identify and reach their potential in any activity they involve themselves.
One of the most significant professional conflicts that I have experienced in the workplace is competing. In our department, employees are divided into groups to enable easy fulfillment of duties and to increase productivity. In each of them there comprises ten people plus a team leader that is tasked with the responsibility of supervising all the activities, writing reports and relaying any communications from the higher level management. Although each of the members actively participates in ensuring that the highest level of performance is achieved and accept corrections, the team leader uses a unique management style most people complain about on most occasions.
Throughout his operations, he analyses the techniques used by each member and helps them to correct where they are not performing well thus enhancing their productivity. Although it is a suitable method, the leader does not accept any form of correction from other people. He receives any forms of criticism harshly and talks in a very disrespectful tone upon getting the information. Although he helps each member reach their potential, his performance, approach to problems and conflict resolution methods are the worst in the company and resulted in the shifting of three members in one month.
His non-collaborative approach towards some of his mistakes slowly started affecting the performance of the department when he was promoted to become the division manager. However, I had to remain in the team regardless of the situation to foster cohesion among the team members. I believe my response was effective by avoiding any confrontations with the leader but instead concentrate on my role in the institution. It helped in maintaining concentration and skill development rather than engaging in unnecessary clashes.
There exist different strategies that can be applied when an individual faces different levels of conflict including focusing on the problem, collaboration and compromising. Compromising incorporates finding mutually acceptable solutions that can help both parties and reduce the intensity of the problem (Thomas and Ralph, 2008). It enables each of the conflicting parties to negotiate and agree on specifics that could help them build and maintain proper relationships. The method is useful in ensuring that the opposing groups or individuals understand each other’s interests and to avoid future confrontations.
Collaboration, on the other hand, entails each party being involved in finding the best solution to their conflict. They have to find the root of the problem and the concern from the different groups and to develop a practical solution (Hung, 2010). Notably, each person to the problem will be required to analyze their concern and learn from one another’s insights and finding a creative and permanent solution. One of the advantages of this technique is that it brings the conflicting parties together and gives them time to examine how each other will benefit without jeopardizing the position of others. Lastly, focusing on the problem instead of the parties is also a good approach as it limits any biases or conflict of interest in trying to find an amicable solution.
Hung, S. (2010). Conflict Styles. Retrieved January 28, 2019, from https://youtu.be/hv9FEuk4Mhk
Thomas, K. W. & Ralph H. Kilman (2008). Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode. TKI Profile and Interpretive Report, 1-11.