Conflict in a workplace is unavoidable. The ability to deal effectively with conflict is an important skill for everyone in a workplace and is essential for leadership.
Trying to avoid conflict is the least helpful method for dealing with workplace conflict. Rarely does conflict disappear when ignored. It is much more likely to escalate, to blow up a small problem into a much larger event.
“The ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall,” according to Mike Myatt in an article for Forbes.com.
The failure to be able to resolve workplace conflict can lead to a loss of productivity, and block creativity and collaboration. Another frequent consequence is the departure of talented employees who choose not to stay in an uncomfortable environment where they may experience bullying or a poisoned atmosphere.
Recently I was working with two leaders of a well-established small business. The leaders were struggling with long-standing conflict between them. As in many conflict situations, communication problems played a big part in the conflict. Lack of information, unclear communication, different interpretations of information were all mixed up in the turmoil.
Without sufficient information both leaders were making assumptions. Then all of that was escalated by an increasingly heated emotional climate as each focused on blaming the other rather than resolving the conflict.
Both leaders had good intentions and wanted the company to succeed. The stakes were high. Their unresolved conflict was causing negative ripples amongst employees and customers, and significantly interfering with the company’s stability.
The situation can be even more difficult if the participants in the conflict are trying to manipulate or mislead the others.
As a leader do not let yourself be caught in destructive crossfire of conflict in your workplace.
Develop the skills to be use conflict as an opportunity for growth and leverage differing opinions to stimulate the innovation and development of your team.
Build your conflict resolution skills this fall.
Join the course Fundamentals of Mediation at Munn Conflict Resolution Services in beautiful London, Ontario.
Early Registration Discount ends Wednesday, August 21!
Course # 1 – Fundamentals of Mediation – September 25, 26, 27, 30, and October 1, 2019 – 5 days – 40 hours.
- Recognized by the ADR Institute of Ontario and the Law Society of Ontario.
- Early Registration Discount ends Wednesday, August 21!
Read the full article by Mike Myatt here