What Is the Connection between Conflict Resolution and Management?

P.M. Willers

Today’s business world requires strong ties between the fields of conflict resolution and management. Both fields share a number of requisite skills, personal qualities, and characteristics, but there are certain critical divergences between conflict resolution and management. The best and brightest of each field share similar personality traits that include a broad and open mind, quick thinking, and high-level communication skills.

Managers at all levels are required to solve problems and disputes among employees and help to resolve issues of all kinds.
Managers at all levels are required to solve problems and disputes among employees and help to resolve issues of all kinds.

Within the field of business management, it is necessary to have certain mediation and conflict resolution skills. Managers at all levels are required to solve problems and disputes among employees and help to resolve issues of all kinds. A successful manager should have a strong set of conflict resolution skills within their base of supervisory and entrepreneurial skills.

In large organizations, conflict resolution may be the job of a human resources employee.
In large organizations, conflict resolution may be the job of a human resources employee.

An ombudsman, a key position within field of conflict management, must have a strong background in conflict resolution and mediation. The field of conflict management is frequently based within the business field. If this is the case, someone in conflict management will have a background of business skills besides their conflict management abilities. There is also a program of study that leads to a career in conflict resolution management that further combines the two areas. Someone in conflict management could have a strong background in law or governance of a particular region or area of expertise, or may have a background in business policy or policy-making.

Conflict resolution involves bringing parties together, exploring the issues behind their conflict, and then finding a resolution to those issues that is satisfactory for all parties.
Conflict resolution involves bringing parties together, exploring the issues behind their conflict, and then finding a resolution to those issues that is satisfactory for all parties.

Those working in conflict resolution and management have at least a similar background education. Studies will require a great deal of communications coursework, problem solving skills and methodology, and mediation techniques. Both conflict resolution and management staff must be prepared with at least a basic level of psychology and cultural competency courses. One of the most important similarities is that both fields work heavily with people. Those in both fields must be adept at working with people of all backgrounds and cultures.

Within a small organization or department, the task of conflict resolution may be placed on the manager. In larger organizations with more departments and employees, conflict resolution may be the job of a separate human resources employee or ombudsman. Conflict resolution and mediation may require have a full and separate department in large and complex corporations.

There are also certain critical differences between the fields of conflict resolution and management. Those in conflict resolution must be highly adept at listening and analyzing a situation as it can best be handled. An ombudsman or mediator should have a strong background of conflict resolution coursework, just as a manager would, but his training will focus more on negotiation, cooperation, mediation, and facilitating compromise. A manager is generally required to solve conflicts more quickly and in a firmer and more authoritative manner.

The process of effective conflict resolution may involve many different strategies to find a resolution to conflict.
The process of effective conflict resolution may involve many different strategies to find a resolution to conflict.

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