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When you avoid conflict, you may think you’re keeping the peace, but in reality you’re disrupting it. When people have conflicting viewpoints, managing the conflict well can lead to creative and more effective solutions.

Oftentimes, conflict is simply the result of diverse people working together. We can allow our differences to get in the way or we can work together to find a solution.

A study by Stanford University showed “conflict management skills” as the biggest leadership development concern for CEOs. When conflict isn’t handled correctly it can result in personal dislike, team disintegration, disengagement and negativity. Luckily, the skill of resolving conflict effectively can be learned by anyone.

Every leader and organization is different.  However, when managing conflict, there is a basic skill set that can be taught to members of any team to create a more effective workplace.

Here are three tips to effectively manage conflict:

  • Stay calm, ask questions and manage emotions
    If you can manage your emotions during times of conflict you will likely remain open and connected with the other person. Usually, you can reach a quick resolution and move on.
  • Encourage challenging opinions and healthy debates
    Conflict isn’t always a bad thing. Managing conflict effectively can ultimately lead to creative and effective solutions. When conflicts are resolved quickly and effectively, the team doesn’t get stuck and can concentrate on their performance and results
  • Resolve conflict in a way that leads to improved self-awareness and better teamwork
    If not handled correctly, workplace conflict can be a detriment to the productivity and cohesiveness of a team.  Coaching your team on how to manage conflict effectively will lead to better outcomes including improved self-awareness and better teamwork.

 

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP ACTION PLAN:

How can you effectively resolve conflict?

How can you use conflicting viewpoints to create even better ideas and solutions?

 

“A good manager doesn’t try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people. If you’re the boss and your people fight you openly when they think that you are wrong — that’s healthy.”

~ Robert Townsend