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Supervision Intervention Strategies

Recruitment and Retention Toolkit   Supervision Intervention Strategies   Effective Conflict Negotiation [2.8.9]

Effective Conflict Negotiation [2.8.9]

Most supervisors recognize that some workplace conflict is inevitable. Good supervisors know how to work effectively to resolve conflicts and even to reap benefits by using effective conflict resolution techniques. An article on Conflict Resolution from the Web site notes that skilled supervisors can reap benefits from the conflict resolution process, including increased understanding, group collaboration, and self-knowledge among the work team. This same article describes two well-regarded conflict resolution theories: the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Model and the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) Approachto Conflict Management. This theory states that people have a usual style relating to conflict: competitive; collaborative; compromising; accommodating; or avoiding. Once these styles and their elements are understood, the best approach for the situation along with your own instinctual style may be easier to use.
Conflict negotiation is important to maintain a healthy organization; it can diffuse workplace conflicts before it sets up an unhealthy environment. Conflict happens and supervisors are often the first line of defense to smooth over relationships whether between staff or pertaining to clients.

Jeffery Krivits describes negotiation as “reframing a situation in order to get people to shift their positions in a way that makes a resolution possible.” In his article, Can We Call a Truce? 10 Tips for Negotiating Workplace Conflicts, he outlines the basics of negotiation by highlighting the fundamentals of human behavior, paying attention, and using neutrality to resolve the problem.

Win-Win negotiation is the term used for resolving the problem with a solution that is acceptable to each party. This type of negotiation is most helpful in dealing with staff since they may have a long-term relationship. In the article Win-Win Negotiations, information on steps for working towards a fair and positive outcome for both parties is provided along with a supporting preparation sheet for major conflicts that can help determine:
  • Goals of the negotiation
  • Trades offs
  • Alternatives
  • Issues surrounding the relationship
  • Expected outcomes
  • Consequences
  • Power issues
  • Possible solutions

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