A Proven Approach to managing conflict and driving results

As human beings we encounter and deal with conflict every day. Conflict is so common, we often don’t recognize many of its manifestations. And if these conflicts go unresolved the impact to your business can be significant.

For example, a supervisor or manager, lost in thought, goes right past a subordinate not seeing their smile and desire to be recognized. They will also not see the angry look on their face from not being acknowledged. Now there is the risk of that disgruntled team member impacting the impression of other team members and could impact business critical activities as well. And the worst part is, the next time that leader encounters that team member they will have no idea that conflict has already been created.

It is important to understand that not all conflict is created equal. There is the valuable conflict that appears as constructive rivalry, creative friction, and discussion of issues. This type of conflict stimulates productivity, creativity, and efficiency. It is a valuable necessary means to an end.

Then, there is the other kind of conflict. It can be rough, hostile verbal communication or behavior that could become aggressive. It may be direct in the form of loud, angry or demeaning language. Or it can be indirect in the form of ignoring someone, ridiculing them in a “humorous” way, or criticizing them to others. If leadership fails to manage these types of behavior the conflict between team members can reach a breaking point and result in an unsafe work environment or even legal considerations. Regardless of the type of conflict that exists in your organization between teams, the important thing to remember is that most conflict can be managed with the proper approach and guidance.