“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress” – Gandhi
Dear Readers: I’m taking a hiatus from writing new blog posts for a bit, so I’ll be sharing some of my most popular past posts over the next few weeks. Hope you enjoy this one – please share your thoughts in the Comments box below!
Does anyone love conflict?
Well, maybe dictators or psychopaths do, but for most of us, conflict is often something we avoid like the plague.
If you’d rather have invasive dentistry than deal with team conflict, try this on for size:
What if conflict was merely a signal that something new is trying to happen?
When handled skillfully, conflict can actually assist in creating constructive change.
It’s important to work effectively with conflict rather than ignore it or hope it will just conveniently go away.
We can see the many unintended and negative consequences of chronic unaddressed conflict everywhere: team stagnation, job turnover, absenteeism, and reduced productivity.
So, what can you do? When faced with conflict, try this with your team:
1) Why is it important to solve this problem? Getting clear on why the problem matters to the team is critical.
2) What is the common interest shared by everyone on the team? Look to team vision, values or strategic planning documents as resources or support.
3) What will be different when this problem is resolved? Behind every complaint or problem is a unfulfilled request (or two, or three…). Mine the frustration for the values, ideals, or vision that you are striving for.
4) How have you as a team solved similar issues in the past? What other experiences or resources do you have as a team to draw upon, learn from or harness from past conflicts?
5) Minimize use of toxic team behaviors. Blaming, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt aren’t useful in resolving conflict. Be willing to resolve issues without resorting to these less skillful behaviors.
In the comments below, I want to hear from you! Tell me: How have you effectively transformed team conflict into change?
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