Dealing with conflict is part of life. Even the best organizations deal with internal conflict on a regular basis. Conflict isn’t a black and white issue. There are different degrees and levels of conflict. Conflict at a low intensity may just be a simple disagreement. But high intensity conflict can result in teams that have low levels of trust or even organizations that completely fall apart because of internal pressures. Conflict is inevitable. It is how you and your team handles that conflict that matters. Let’s take a look at how you can improve your conflict resolution strategies.
Even The Best Teams Deal With Internal Conflict
It is important to understand that it is impossible to eliminate conflict. If you come into this process thinking that you can completely eliminate all conflict within your team, you are going to micromanage your employees and probably make things worse. You aren’t going to stop your team members from having disagreements or approaching a problem from a different way of
thinking. You want your team members to remain creative and bring their unique talents to the table so that they can perform in their role. Sometimes that causes friction, but that is why it is important to have a process for how you handle conflict.
Create An Official Process For How You Deal With Team Conflict
A great way to minimize conflict and help to resolve internal problems is through structure. Teams that do not have a structure can sometimes fall into chaos. You want to have an official process for how you deal with conflict and how you handle these types of issues between team members. Perhaps you’ll have each team member meet with you individually to assess the extent of the problem. Maybe you’ll interview other team members as well, to get their point of view. If you are a bigger organization, perhaps your Human Resources Department may get involved. Either way, you want to have an official process that you can use in all conflict related situations. This way, the process is transparent and everyone knows what to expect. This increases trust in your leadership and in the conflict resolution process.
Remember That Each Team Member Is Unique
When you go too far in trying to eliminate conflict within teams, you can squash internal creativity. You don’t want all of your team members to think or act in exactly the same way. You want them to work together and maximize their abilities. Make sure that your conflict resolution process doesn’t come at the expense of individual creativity.
Conflict resolution is important for every team. Too much conflict can impede a team’s ability to perform. Make sure that your conflict resolution process is transparent and that everyone knows what to expect. You want to be fair with your team members so that this process builds trust instead of reducing it. A good conflict resolution strategy will improve your team’s effectiveness over time.