Handling Conflicts

“Conflict is the gadify of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates to invention. It shocks us out of sheeplike passivity and sets us at noting and contriving.” John Dewey

All of us face conflict at one point of time or other. It does not matter how non-confrontational you may be, it is something that one needs to have the ability to handle. Everyone has different ways of handling conflict. It depends on the issue at hand, core values and beliefs, and one’s personal disposition. When all these factors come together, it becomes a complex issue which needs to be handled with sensitivity and care. Unfortunately, not many people are adept at handling such situations, and may shy away from them to maintain a status quo. This leads to a further amplification of the problem at hand, and could lead to additional issues and problems. 

Working at a start-up or a relatively young company with a decentralized structure, conflict is inevitable. Being of a non-confrontational nature myself, I used to avoid these uncomfortable situations, for a long time. After sometime, I began to see how my behavior was making conditions worse, and was affecting the rest of the team as well. That is when I began to pay greater attention to resolving these conflicts as soon as possible, to maintain a healthy environment in the workplace and to ensure that morale levels were kept high. It is imperative to keep the larger picture in mind when dealing with conflict,  to fully understand what is at stake.

Over the course of this week, I will go over a couple of key points of conflict resolution which I have learned over time, to deal with conflict in a much more efficient and effective manner. Due to the complex nature of conflicts, and depending on the intensity and number of people involved, these points will act as markers to help look at the matter objectively. At the same time, I would really like to hear from you regarding any specific conflicts that you may have experienced during your entrepreneurial journey. In the coming months I plan on adding a section for case studies, conflict resolution is always interesting. I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy the series.


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