In today’s food sector, quality experts face more difficulties and competing demands than ever. It is due to the food industry’s dynamic character, globalization, changing regulatory policies/standards/regulations, constant company improvement initiatives, and high customer and consumer expectations. According to Ravi Kumar Chermala, food safety and quality are crucial for a food business’s success.
Quality professionals need to understand and be trained to handle conflicts that develop with internal and external stakeholders if they are to handle the challenges that are unavoidable successfully. All organizations have conflict, in which two or more parties are at odds with one another or are incompatible. Conflict can encourage innovation and change because it is a natural occurrence.
Conflict is characterized by emotions like outrage, disillusionment, apprehension, disappointment, hatred, and depression and results from conflicting or contradictory objectives or perspectives. In human interactions, some disagreements cannot be avoided. Conflict is especially prevalent when one or more persons are subject to another person’s authority or supervision. It is necessary to acknowledge and settle a problem once it develops into a dispute, for example, when someone brings charges against another. Instead of only addressing the signs of a disagreement, the cause must be addressed. Conflicts are frequently the result of disparities in needs, duties, pressures, job positions, objectives, goals, approaches, attitudes, interests, and perceptions.
Conflict can be categorized depending on the interpersonal interactions between the parties involved. Differential levels of power or position among people play a role in both the origin and resolution of disputes.
Conflicts can take place on one of four levels:
● Intrapersonal (within the individual)
● Interpersonal (involving two or more individuals)
● Personal–functional (here between the individual with their work)
● Personal–organizational (with an individual and the workplace)
Conflicts can have either beneficial, harmful, or neutral outcomes. The following results emerge from constructive conflicts:
● Ideas for new projects emerged.
● A better comprehension of issues and duties.
● Greater variety of options.
● Increased drive and vitality.
● A desire to collaborate and grow.
Positive conflicts lead to:
● Either win-lose or lose-lose situations.
● Undesirable results
● Reduction in production.
Depending on the conditions and relationships involved, quality specialists in the food business can employ various conflict-management methods. The following six simple procedures can assist competent professionals in resolving conflict:
1. Define and make clear the problem.
2. Note the perspectives of all parties.
3. Identify and agree upon goals.
4. Consider alternatives.
5. Choose a solution that everyone can agree on as a group.
6. Decide together how to evaluate if the option is effective.
The three fundamental elements of any conflict are people, processes, and problems:
People: Behind every dispute is a history of connections and personalities.
Process: Conflicts have many diverse forms, but they all share specific interactional patterns that determine how they get more intense, less intense, or spread.
Problem: Each conflict has a particular subject or set of interests that serve as its “content” or “reasons for the dispute.”
The manner in which each party views the circumstance affects the preferred resolution of the conflict for that party. Sometimes a skilled mediator’s intervention is necessary to resolve a problem and reach an agreement that all parties can live with. Emotions and actions have an impact on how people see conflict.
The dispute’s backdrop, the disputants’ relationships, and each party’s emotions and behavior can all contribute to the conflict’s escalation and make it difficult to resolve. Leaders, facilitators, and managers in the food sector must be knowledgeable about and skilled in using conflict resolution techniques suitable for the circumstances. To prevent or manage conflict and to maximize team performance, it is essential to practice active listening, effective communication, clear assignments, manageable difficulties, and meaningful purpose and feedback. It takes a team effort to overcome difficulties, and effective managers and leaders devote much time to managing conflict.
To get the results you want, conflict resolution strategies can be combined. Helping people recognize the need for change, according to Ravi Kumar Chermala, is crucial to converting conflict and enabling disputants to come to an advantageous resolution for all participants.