Your employees face challenges every day;
the one they shouldn’t have to face is each other
If managed properly, conflict can inspire new ideas, strengthen team bonds, and create a positive company culture built on respect and common understanding. There are two ways that people typically deal with conflict: avoid or aggress. For the folks who avoid conflict, they don’t want to fight with their coworkers and don’t want to be pegged as troublemakers, so when they disagree with a new company plan or directive they say nothing—that’s where the trouble starts. By remaining silent they allow that bitterness and negativity to sit and fester, impacting their work and eventually everyone around them.
With folks who are aggressors, there is a habit of assuming that everyone has the same mindset about conflict. The assumption is that everyone likes conflict as much as they do, and that the fight is actually a good thing. They don’t realize they’re cutting people’s heads off and not influencing them any more.
Part of the problem is that we’re never really taught how to have meaningful, constructive conflict. Many of us probably don’t even know what that means. Instead we create subtle yet complicated methods for avoiding conflict or having conflict that ultimately prevents us from addressing the main problem. Or worse, we “collaborate” (read: compromise), altering a plan or idea beyond recognition in order to satisfy the needs of every stakeholder, major or otherwise. The end result is, like meat that’s gone through the grinder one too many times, everybody eats it but no one really likes the taste.
There is another way. We catch people in the act. Red-handed, in real time, disrupting negative internal conflict systems, thereby enabling the type of healthy discussions that unleash employee potential and lead to big breakthroughs.