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Quality and conflicts
It has already been well established that quality is crucial for survival in today’s society. People are always talking about it and everyone wants more “bang for their buck”. As a relatively new person in the world of quality there are a few things I’ve picked up on that seemed important to me. One of those things is communication.
Communication, for me, is one of the corner stones of good quality management. You need to communicate with your customers, your employees and your vendors. But what happens when somewhere along these communication chains, there’s a clash between individuals? This will no doubt have an impact on the quality of your process and the quality of your product/service.
Don’t get me wrong, conflict isn’t always bad and it can have positive outcomes. Conflict can allow for personal growth and can reveal underlying problems in your organization. Both of which can solidify the bond between team members, making for a more productive and cohesive group.
So conflict can be a good thing, if managed properly. If it’s allowed to escalate or is not properly dealt with, conflict can ultimately lead to a break in your organization. The workflow is disrupted and stress increases amongst your employees. And we all know what the consequences of a stressful work environment are.
But what is the right way to manage conflict?
There are many methods to conflict resolution, some of them are:
- Collaborating; Working together to solve the problem and reach a consensus
- Compromising; This is a give-and-take solution
- Smoothing; Calming all parties involved, down-playing the conflict
- Forcing; The my way or the highway approach
- Avoiding; This one speaks for itself
Which technique is used depends on the cause of the conflict and on the individuals involved. Every technique has its advantages and disadvantages. It really depends on the situation and on the long term goals of the company.
My preference goes to the collaborating method. This allows for better teamwork and improves communication between colleagues. This, in the end, leads to a more pleasant work environment, higher productivity and better a quality of products/services.
About the author
Born and raised in Curaçao, 26 year old Gina is currently working as a pharmacist at Refineria Isla Curacao B.V. As a relative new-comer to the workforce and quality world she doesn’t have any fancy letters at the end of her name yet.
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