Conflict Management in the Army Essay Example
Conflict management is essential to the Army in keeping cohesion between units and Soldiers. Conflict management is achievable through accommodating, compromising, collaborative, competitive and avoiding approaches to achieve conflict resolution. In order to apply these approaches, identify the root cause of conflict. Conflict left unresolved will create more issues in time and will affect unit cohesion. When managing conflict properly, the parties will be more willing to work together in the future and will prevent additional conflicts from arising.
In order to identify the root cause of conflict, you must first listen actively. Listening actively will allow you to create a shared understanding between the Soldier and yourself. Asking open ended questions will give the opportunity for the Soldier to truly explain what the issue is or what is bothering them. While listening and coming up with assumptions, make sure to clarify that your assumptions are accurate to how the Soldier truly feels and why. Once you have established the Soldier's true emotions and rationalization, then challenge your assumptions and perceptions. Use your challenges to determine if there is a potential different reason for why the Soldier is behaving how the individual is. Most importantly, have the soldier own their feelings, and determine the best plan of action to resolve their conflict.
The first approach to resolution is through accommodation. The accommodating approach “essentially entails giving the opposing side what it wants” (Dontigney, 2019). This approach will not benefit your Soldier, it will only allow for one party to move past conflict, while the other Soldier becomes dissatisfied. Although this will temporarily resolve the conflict, a continuous use of this approach is highly discouraged. The Soldier will, over time, keep track of how often they had to give up their own goals for their conflicting parties' goals. The accommodating approach will cause resentment between your Soldier and yourself. The Soldier will feel as though his goals are not important to you. Ultimately the Soldier will lose their trust in you.
In order to keep your Soldiers’ best interest at heart, the compromising approach is slightly more suitable. The compromising approach “calls for both sides of a conflict to give up elements of their position in order to establish an acceptable, if not agreeable, solution” (Dontigney, 2019). The Soldier, although not elated with the approach, will feel a sense of accomplishment in obtaining a small portion of their goals. This approach will prevail most typically when the two parties hold the same rank.
When the two involved parties are of a different rank, the best approach to use is the collaborative approach. The collaborative approach has both parties come together, open a dialog and create a shared goal that both sides will work together to achieve. Even though the parties will be happy with the outcome, there is a slight downside to the approach. Collaboration “calls for a significant time commitment not appropriate to all conflicts” (Dontigney, 2019). Collaboration requires a shared understanding between the parties and a willingness to want to resolve the conflict.
One of the less beneficial approaches to resolution is the avoiding approach. The avoidance approach will not benefit the Soldier at all. When the mediator ignores the Soldier’s goals, the outcome is unpredictable and is not influenced with alternate solutions. The approach also does not teach the Soldier how to handle conflicts. Continuous use of this approach will negatively impact the Soldiers growth, as well as your own. The Soldier will develop low self esteem and will turn to this approach any time conflict arises in hopes of it resolving itself. Learning to accept the conflict and working towards a solution will benefit the growth and leadership ability of the Soldier.
The final approach to conflict resolution is through the competitive approach. The competitive approach is more inclined for individuals who are highly assertive and require dominance. In this approach, you achieve your Soldiers’ goals, while ignoring the other sides. By using this approach, the Soldier will not learn how to create a shared understanding in the future. The negative impact of not being able to create a shared understanding will not only affect their immediate future, but their long term future as they become a leader. The competitive approach is useful in very limited situations. Over time, the Soldier will learn to intimidate their peers into accepting the Soldier’s position of power. Although having the ability to compete will, at times, benefit the Solider, it will also affect their status with peers.