Let’s Have Some Conflict
A key ingredient for a successful team is being able to effectively deal with conflict. It is an essential component of team excellence for manoeuvring through complex situations. Three elements that create a team culture that allows for productively dealing with conflict are a supportive environment for expressing differences of opinions, open discussions of critical issues and a high level of emotional intelligence.
Allow Differences of Opinion – creating a team culture where members know that it’s acceptable to express differing opinions in respectful ways ensures a safe environment for ideas to flow freely without fear of repercussion. It also enables creativity and innovation through sharing points of view and looking at issues from various angles.
Open Discussions of Critical Issues – When trust is already established on a team and the culture encourages constructive differences of opinion to be shared, teams can move quickly through discussions without stepping over important and potentially volatile issues. Team members feel secure in the foundation of the team to constructively deal with important decisions.
Emotional Intelligence – Often conflict arises from style differences and not from the issue itself. A high level of understanding of your own style as well as the various styles on your team allows for a deeper understanding. Potential triggers for conflict can be circumvented which keeps the focus on the task at hand instead of putting out fires. investing in emotional intelligence is a crucial piece to effectively managing potential conflicts on teams.
Encourage a healthy atmosphere for your team by enabling members to effectively share differing opinions, allow critical issues to be discussed in constructive ways and invest in the emotional intelligence of your team. These three components, built on a foundation of trust, will assist in creating a team culture that deals effectively with conflict.