Eight causes of conflicts according to Bell and Hart
14th February 2019
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Conflicts are inevitable in the work environment, often problems arise between co-workers, supervisors and employees, between customers and workers, etc. Sometimes these tensions are not managed adequately, even though knowing how to do it is a key in business management.

For example: two employees who share the same workspace - one of them is very tidy, punctual, always does his work on time, keeps his desk and space clean inside that office, avoids playing music or talking loudly when he serves customers by phone. On the other hand, the other employee keeps a really messy desk and is usually quite scandalous to work, although in the end he fulfills his goals. Possibly both people love their work, but they feel uncomfortable and there is tension between them. How to solve this? First it is necessary to analyze the situation and realize it, this would be the starting point to think about how to work together effectively.

A conflict can be useful but not pleasant, it can push both parties to communicate better to grow and through ideas to solve the conflict. However, all this only happens if we understand why that tension or problem is there. Identifying the root of the problem will lead us to take measures to solve it.

In the following article we will see or cho common causes of conflict at work . There are also many ways to resolve conflicts or how to manage them more effectively.

Conflicts according to Bell and Hart

According to psychologists Art Bell and Brett Hart, there are eight common causes of conflict in the workplace. They are the following:

  • Resources
  • Styles
  • Perceptions
  • Goals
  • Pressures
  • Roles
  • Personal values
  • Unpredictable Policies

This classification can be used to identify the causes of conflicts, and once identified, appropriate measures could be taken to prevent them.

  • Conflict of resources.

We all need resources to be able to do our work well, this includes office elements, spaces such as a presentation room, help from colleagues, training, etc. The conflict arises when more than one person needs access to the same resource.

It is very likely that this type of conflict is occurring within your company. To solve it, you can use techniques such as Win - Win, or the Model of Influences and thus reach an agreement. Another way is by making sure that each member of your team has what it takes to do their job well. Teach how to prioritize your time or resources, the correct way to negotiate with each other to avoid this type of conflict.

If this type of problem persists, it is advisable that both parties sit down to openly discuss because their needs are in disagreement. An open discussion will help each party to see the other's perspective.

  • Conflict of Styles.

We all work differently according to our own styles and personalities, the conflict arises only when these styles or personalities collide. For example, there are people who love the excitement of doing things at the last minute, while others need the structure of strict deadlines to carry them out.

To prevent and manage this type of conflict in your team, take into account people's work styles, the roles they play in each group, just as the elections do when forming their team.

  • Conflict of Perceptions

Each of us see the world through our own lens, something that usually causes conflicts are the different perceptions of events. This increases when a person knows something that the other person does not know, and does not realize this. If within the team the members usually participate regularly in "territorial wars or gossip" the conflict of perceptions will be unleashed.

You must eliminate this conflict through open communication with your team, even when it comes to communicating bad news. This is really positive because by sharing directly with your team it will be less likely that they will reach their own interpretations.

  • Conflict of Objectives.

This happens especially when managers set their employees different objectives. For example, a task has been assigned to an employee. Immediately one of the managers tells him that it is necessary that this task be done quickly. While another maybe seconds later tell you that it does not matter how long it takes to execute this task, but that it does so with great efficiency. A great conflict to reconcile!

What to do in these cases? Setting goals for team members is important, but you must ensure that they do not conflict with others already set.

  • Conflict due to pressures

Given that office work is essentially a team, in many cases we will depend on the work of other people to carry out our work. However, what can we do when we need a colleague to give us a report by noon, and be busy making another report for another employee under the same deadline?

If you suspect there are conflicts due to short-term shock objectives, reschedule the tasks and deadlines to relieve the pressure.

  • Roles conflict

Sometimes we are assigned tasks that are not in our normal role or do not go with the role we have in charge. This leads us to enter another "territory" and this can lead to conflicts and power struggles. This can also happen in reverse - in our opinion a particular task must be completed by another co-worker.

Role conflict is similar to the conflict of perception. Because a team member can see one task as the responsibility of another or "territory" of someone in particular. When another employee comes and takes care of that task the conflict occurs.

  • Different Personal Values

What would happen if your boss asks you to do something that conflicts with your ethical standards? Would you do what he asks or would you refuse? But by denying yourself, you would also have to face losing your boss's confidence or even your work. When our work goes against our values, conflict can arise quickly. To avoid this, you must practice ethical leadership: try not to ask your team for things that clash with your values.

  • Unpredictable policies

When work policies are changed and your communication is not clearly communicated, your team may be confused and this may create conflicts. When changes are made to the rules or policies, be sure to communicate exactly what will be changed, also the reason for that change, and how it will affect the work of each one.

Final reflection: dealing with conflicts in a constructive way is vital for the good management of any company, for this first you must identify each conflict in a specific way, to then give you an adequate and permanent solution.


About the Author

Trudy S

Member since: 3rd November 2018

Trudy is a Business Tech Analyst. He is very responsible towards his job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.

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