Introduction Most conflicts in any institution like companies, families and even communities often happen due to some issues. There are ego issues as one of the main causes. Secondly, the absence of communication is another issue. The third issue relates to having obstinate views on any issue or thought or behavioral pattern. The fourth issue relates to deep-rooted beliefs and this happens at the society level. The fifth issue relates to a lack of readiness to change. It thus turns out that the methods to avoid or eliminate conflicts would relate to a) Never have egos at any stage b) Keep on communicating with others c) Do not have extreme views and be open d) Keep aside any bias or hatred based on deep-rooted beliefs and e) Be ready to face any change at any point in time.
Never have egos at any stage The bigger issue that concerns most divorces in metro and urban India relates to giant-sized egos. The husband has an ego, but the wife has one that is double that. And vice versa. Both forget that marriage as an institution in India has survived only because of the good amount of give and take that was part and parcel of most Indian families. This is particularly true of those who are now 75 plus in age. Yes. They would have had conflicts. But those conflicts would not have had an ego as the main issue. The issue might have been related to economic problems. In those days, incomes were less. The cost of living was also less, but the other problems like irregular electricity and lack of communication facilities did create problems for happy living. Yet, they survived and lived happily.
The key to avoiding any conflict is to totally shun egos. None of us should have egos. Even simple listening techniques, aligned with some good basic body language such as looking straight into the eyes and acknowledging any point made, would be the starting point of shedding egos. Once this basic thing is done, the other methods would automatically follow. For, the other person would also reciprocate the change observed.
Keep on communicating with others Children, in the age group of ten to fifteen, do not initially listen to their grandparents and even parents. However, when they get sane advice on any issue that concerns them - be that big or small - they realize the value of communicating with elders in the first place. Jealousy and consequent bad behavior with a classmate is one such issue. This could have happened even without any understanding or unconsciously. Yet, when the entire sequence of events is communicated to a grandparent, he or she would have come up with the best of advice, as they would have seen such problems and would have come out of such situations. Their rich experience will teach the younger generation may a good method to avoid conflict.
Similarly, it is commonly observed that bosses who clearly spell out expectations on specific tasks in no unambiguous terms are more effective as the subordinates would have more clarity and more focus on value-added tasks. Similarly, the bigger problems like the anger of the wife or husband on most issues like bringing up children, are often based on incorrect assumptions or fears. Once these fears or assumptions are removed through communication, it is commonly observed that the conflicts become far less.
Do not have extreme views and be open Aditya (name changed) lived and worked in Trivandrum for most of his life. He had gone abroad and was also posted in his IT job with an IT major, in Mumbai. He wanted his wife to dress very fashionably and did not know how to communicate this to his life partner. Nearer the date of marriage, he was able to meet the maternal uncle of the girl at a wedding. He had worked in the army and had seen all modern fashions. Though then retired, he had a business at Kottayam and had widely traveled to most parts of the world as well. A casual conversation revealed that the expectation of Aditya. The maternal uncle took the girl into confidence and then made her understand her future husband's expectations. This girl, who had lived in Coimbatore for several years, understood the issue and quickly changed herself after marriage. With the help of her friend who lived in Trivandrum, she adapted herself to the most modern dresses worn in IT offices and was extremely happy because her husband was happy. This is exactly what should happen in any situation.
If we have extreme views on any issue, that has the seed for maximum conflict. For instance, there is the issue of belief in spirituality. If your life partner is not a believer in spirituality, it is fruitless to either crib about it or try to influence him or her to adapt to your line of thinking or belief at any point in time.
Keep aside any bias or hatred based on deep-rooted beliefs This is a societal problem. There are some fanatics in any society. They try to brainwash others against one particular minority community. They would feed unreal or totally untrue stories about the behavioral patterns of that community and the debates on some television channels would add fuel to the fire. This becomes a bigger belief in the minds of thousands of people. And then become a seed for a bigger conflict.
Some violence happens against that particular minority and even that is justified in the name of "teaching them a lesson". This line of thinking is potentially very dangerous and can cause immense harm to the social fabric itself. Never fall prey to such fanatic propaganda. No conflict at the societal level can sustain over a longer period of time. This is because over ninety percent of people would place reason before emotion and come out of such irrational beliefs and bias or hatred.
Be ready to face any change at any point in time This often happens in Corporate organizations. Those who are unready or ineffective or unwilling to face any new challenge will always face a conflict. This is more so in cases where the individuals are unable to cope with the change itself. For example, if an organization adopts Total Quality Management practices, it becomes essential that any individual has to necessarily get the PDCA done for every process. Even for the small processes. This is a mindset change. Once this is done, most conflicts will disappear.
Similarly, if the wife herself changes, it is appropriate for the husband to also change. If, for example, the wife, who was not respecting the parents of her husband for whatever reason, now starts doing so and a good change is observed, it is essential that the husband should reciprocate and start respecting the parents of his wife. After all, this is the best method to avoid any further conflict.
Conclusion Based on common-sense observations and real-world experiences, some simple methods of avoiding conflicts at various levels have been discussed above. The methods are indicative but can be viewed as starting points for a wider appreciation of the issues involved and the appropriate behavioral patterns to be put in place in our lives.
Whenever people meet and interact with each other, there are occasions when a difference of opinion is also created. If it can be resolved amicably there is no problem. But many times due to ego or misunderstanding or false pride people stick to their views and start confronting sometimes even on the wrong premises. These situations create a lot of conflicts and then there is no end to it. When such a thing happens within an organisation or family then it has devastating effects on the overall progress as due to the clash of ideas nothing concrete can be decided to move ahead. It is definitely an unhealthy situation and it becomes the duty of the leader or senior person of the house to mitigate it through dialogues and comfortable communication between the people involved. Here comes the ability to manage the conflict in a workplace or family environment. Though there are many methods and techniques advised by the management Gurus but the most common is to develop mutual confidence and mutual coexistence through cordial interactions. Sticking to one's views would sometimes be highly detrimental for achieving a common objective and the whole organisation or family would suffer badly. Listening to other's viewpoint and adding value to it without discarding it is one way the prudent people deal with such circumstances.
This is a very common problem we face in many places, the conflict and difference of opinion between family members, the difference of views between colleagues and the differences between the boss and the subordinate. But one can never expect a life without them. Your success depends more on how you manage and address those situations. These differences are related to some points of mutual interest and they should not be taken as personal. Sometimes even though we are correct and the other person is not correct, we should not make him accept our view forcefully. Definitely, he will learn out of his mistakes.