Free «Conflict Handling Style» Essay Sample

Conflict Handling Style

There are many triggers of conflicts. The way in which individuals apply conflict resolution approaches depends both on their conflict handling style and conflict resolution skills. There are several ways of responding to such situations. Some methods involve a considerate and cooperative strategy, while others are based on a passive or competitive approach. Those people who have appropriate conflict handling styles comprehend how to neutralize the situation and come to an amicable agreement that contents all parties involved. The paper will expound more on change theories, conflict theories, and a leader as a change agent, analyzing how the ability of a person can either hinder or enhance effective leadership in the health care environment.

Change Theories

There are many theories of change. One of them is the Kurt Lewin Model of Change that has three stages, namely unfreezing, transition and refreezing (Kritsonis, 2005). All of them address various approaches used to bring changes in individuals and organizations. These theories describe steps or stages followed by leaders to effect changes in the existing procedures of discharging duties and responsibilities (Kritsonis, 2005). A good example of such processes is in health care organizations. Leaders in these agencies utilize principles described by various change theories to implement changes in methods of carrying out medical procedures (Kritsonis, 2005). Change, especially in the field of health, is crucial due to the need of providing evidence-based practice to ensure that patients receive high-quality health care. Change theories outline how leaders face resistance and opposition from their followers as they try to initiate it. Research shows that people are naturally resistant to change (Kritsonis, 2005). Therefore, leaders should design strategies to convince followers to accept the proposed change and embrace it.

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Conflict Theories

Conflict theories are views in social psychology and sociology that stress the material, political, or social inequity of a social group. These views evaluate a wide social-political system to identify any inequality within it (Lieberfeld, 2005). Conflict theories state that conflicts and tensions arise when power, status, and resources are distributed unevenly among various groups in society, and these disagreements become an instrument of social change (Lieberfeld, 2005). These theories also propose that social order is maintained by power and domination, rather than conformity and consensus. Karl Marx played a major role in the development of conflict theories (Lieberfeld, 2005). The latter have been utilized to describe a broad range of social phenomena, which include domestic violence and discrimination, poverty and wealth, and revolutions and wars. The 2008-2009 financial crisis and the next bank bailouts represent perfect real-life conflict theory examples (Lieberfeld, 2005). Therefore, conflict theories advocate for the equal distribution of power and resources among society members to create social order.

Leader as a Change Agent

A leader should act as an effective change agent.  The one should have a clear vision and be able to communicate it precisely to others. Studies show that it helps to reduce conflicts within a health care organization, and workers concentrate on the change agenda (Shriberg, 2007). A real change agent should be in a position to withstand intense criticism from his or her. For example, a leader who can do this has a productive conflict handling style that helps to achieve change objectives in that organization. A change agent should also be knowledgeable and lead by example (Shriberg, 2007). If leaders want to bring change, they should not only describe but also demonstrate it to followers. A change agent should have strong relationships built on trust. People cannot follow a leader they do not trust because it creates conflicts. A change agent should also outlast change opponents. Studies show individuals do not want to come out of their comfort zone (Shriberg, 2007). A good leader should also regularly evaluate and be willing to alter plans accordingly. For example, if conflicts arise during the process of change, leaders must evaluate and change current plans immediately to address this problem.

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The Ability to Handle Conflicts and Its Impact on Leadership

Conflict resolution is a vital quality that every leader should possess to handle the emerging conflicts in an organization. The ability of a manager to manage conflicts can either promote or hinder the efficiency of leadership in the health care environment. As a head of a health care team, I will use such conflict handling styles as accommodating, collaborating, and compromising among others to solve disagreements that arise among my followers. I can also employ effective listening and communication skills to manage differences among workers. These skills promote effective leadership in the health care environment, which improves the quality of health care offered to patients. I can also lead by example so that my followers trust me, which can in turn have positive impacts on conflict resolution. I will also respect my fellow employees and involve them in the decision-making process to help them feel recognized and appreciated, reducing incidences of conflicts, because workers will feel motivated and respected (Shriberg, 2007). I can also ensure that everyone understands the goals and objectives of the organization and strives to achieve them, making sure that conflicts do not derail employees in the achievement of organizational goals. They can disrupt work and lead to the provision of poor services, especially in the health care environment (Shriberg, 2007). Therefore, I will strive to ensure that I am competent in conflict resolution to enhance effective leadership in the health care organization. 

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Almost everyone encounters conflicts in his or her day-to-day life. The most important thing is how individuals deal with them, which is determined by the effectiveness of their conflict handling styles. Since change is inevitable, change theories describe stages that people follow to change their current methods of doing things. Conflict theories explain unequal distribution of resources, power and status as a reason for conflicts and tensions among people in society. Leaders should act as change agents by utilizing their skills to effect a positive change. They should also have the ability to handle conflicts to enhance leadership in the health care environment.