We all desire peace and tranquility at all times, no question about that. However, conflicts are inevitable and can arise at any time. How you use conflict resolution methods relies on both your conflict style and your conflict resolution skills (Korkki, 2016). There are different methods of reacting to conflict; some conflict approaches involve a considerate viewpoint while others involve a competitive viewpoint. Not a lot of people would understand how to diffuse the situation and arrive at an agreement that satisfies all the parties involved.
We can do it today.
The workplace, like every other place where people interact, can be a breeding ground for conflict. Unrealistic demands, offensive remarks, bullying, staff taking credit for others’ work. These are some of the many forms in which the offences can occur (Korkki, 2016). Things might escalate out of control and bring permanent damage to relationships hence have a bad effect on the mood at work.
Bill Gates in his early youthful years set out to build one of the biggest tech company ever existed, Microsoft. This demanded a lot of determination and sacrifice. Today he is one of the richest if not the richest man alive. Having had to work with people to help him build the company meant that he would not be immune to conflict. A scenario that took place in 1985 between Bill Gates and one of his employees, Ida Cole, is brought to light which shows that he had a competitive approach towards conflict management (Leadership, 2017). This is the style in which the concerns and the position of the opposition are not considered. The most important thing is to win the argument by any means necessary even if it involves “pulling the rank”.
Ida Cole was unwell and needed medical attention. However, during that time the division she ran was about to start shipping Excel, a critical product launch for Microsoft. Despite postponing her medical procedure to focus on the Excel release, she was still met with hostility when she later went through with her treatment (Leadership, 2017). She was yelled at, verbally attacked and criticized for her inadequacies without any empathy or concerns. This is just an example of how Bill gates once handled a conflict matter in the office and does not necessarily paint any picture of who he is or how he handles things as per today.
- Korkki, P. (2016). Conflict at Work? Empathy Can Smooth Ruffled Feathers. The New York Times, 67- 72.
- Leadership. (2017, August 22). For Bill Gates, tirades came at a cost. Retrieved from Business Management: https://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/49285/for-bill-gates-tirades-came-at-a-cost