Conflict Encourages Open Mindedness.
Working together to accomplish organizational goals is tough work. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with ANYONE at ANYTIME then you’ve likely had conflict. For many people conflict is uncomfortable. Others embrace it. Depending on your perspective when it comes to conflict, the reality is that wherever there are people, there is conflict. According to BusinessDictionary.com conflict is defined as, “Friction or opposition resulting from actual or perceived differences or incompatibilities.” Quite simply a difference of opinion. When you stop to think about this definition, why do people avoid other people’s opinions? Certain people avoid the emotions that conflict conjures up because it’s uncomfortable so they avoid it altogether. Others have the ability to be self-aware, to assess a situation and calm their emotions so they can communicate effectively for the greater good even when others don’t agree.
The beauty that comes from conflict is that new ideas can surface. But first, each individual team member’s desires, concerns, fears, needs, etc. must be acknowledged and considered, otherwise they will feel dishonored. If conflict is mishandled with no compromise it can quickly erode trust, communication, productivity and creativity. So much so that new ideas cannot emerge. It is up to a leader to make sure there is a conflict resolution process in place so that WHEN conflicts arise (and they will) there’s already a method to appropriately handle it. Set the ground rules early.
Don't Fear Conflict; Embrace it as a Learning Opportunity
Conflict rarely resolves itself.
Are you aware of potential areas of conflict?
Can it be an area of growth & development for your team?
In what ways will you look differently at team conflict?
(An excerpt from the book “Relationship Leadership: How to Build more Trusting an Effective Teams http://relationshipleadershipbook.com/)