Yes, having conflicts within a team is inevitable. But the question is how will you handle it?
Unresolved conflict does affect the performance and productivity of the whole team if poorly handled, regardless of the source of the conflict. The wise leader-manager during conflict situations must identify and address these 3 main concerns that usually precipitate conflict.. These are “unmet expectations” related to self-interest, moral conduct, and relationships.
So the question for you as a leader is: How should you handle conflicts within your team?
Here 3 tips on how to resolve conflicts to bring out a healthy work environment:
IDENTIFY THE MAIN ISSUE: Examine contentious issues objectively and as soon as the early signs of conflict appear to avoid prolonging the issue. In a corporate setting, identify whether the conflict is with higher management or colleague, or a team member. Elsewhere, identify the core parties. A key to helping you identify conflict early is by reading your teams’ non-verbal and verbal messages using cues like sitting positions, tone of voice, comments or even members facial expressions.
DEAL WITH THE PAIN-POINTS PROMPTLY: Make sure to take ACTION regarding the conflict before it escalates further. Quick action is very important because it helps you to “nip the conflict bud” early before other people are inevitably drawn to the conflict situation. Prompt action will help you to avoid having to deal with a much more complex conflict situation when more people take sides for various reasons.
NEVER TAKE SIDES: When resolving team conflict, treat all parties affected equally. Take no side until you have reasonably listened to both sides and an additional neutral side and your own conscience to avoid biased treatment during a conflict. A key concept that has helped me personally is never believing any one until you have “independently investigated the truth”. Take care…the people who “cry the loudest” may mislead you into thinking that they have been aggrieved by the “accuser” first.
Well, so much for conflict resolution.
As a leader, remember that a team without conflict isn’t healthy either…so learning to solve conflicts effectively and decisively is your most important tool as a leader-manager.
As you become a better leader, develop the ability to resolve conflicts and disagreements amicably and promptly without fear or favour. Also as you empower your teams more, teach them to fix their disagreements more rapidly among themselves by clarifying work related objectives, outcomes and behavioral expectations to ensure harmony in the team.
How effective are you with conflict resolution in your life and business?
If you need help, send us a message.
Till then, let’s keep changing lives!
Dr. Gerald Amandu, PhD
Leadership Coach and Business Advisor CEO & Founder, Gerald Amandu Success Academy