Transformational Leadership

Four Things You Can Do to Minimize Conflict in the Workplace

Shelley Holmes asked:

d these four insights into conflict and you may not need to feel that conflict is actually spelled disaster!

No Two Persons Think Alike.

This diversity in ways of thinking and approaching situations is what is needed for a well-rounded team. Unfortunately, this very diversity that teams so need, is what causes most of the conflict. Even so, it could be the very thing you need as each person’s different opinions and ways of looking at the situation could round out a problem in a way that might have not happened if there were no conflict of thinking, seeing the situation.

What To Do: As a leader your goal is to help people who are very different in style and thinking to learn to value their differences and learn skills that will enable them to dissolve their conflicts, whilst maintaining their differences.

Conflict Can Start From Competition Over Scarce Resources.

If people are fearful that there isn’t enough to go around – enough salary increases, enough overtime, enough promotions, enough capital expenditure funds, enough acknowledgment, enough recognition … Then you can be assured that conflict and competition will erupt!

What To Do: As the leader who inspires others, you are responsible for helping your team members to have the mindset that. Inspire them into changing their beliefs such that there is plenty to go around. Even in the hardest of times, if you look for it, plenty abounds. It’s about being resourceful and focusing on what you want. Be your best and the resources will flow. It’s simply a natural law.

Attitudes Might Need Adjusting

People are like radio antennas – sending out vibes (vibrations) about how they feel about the world and how they feel about specific people. You know this to be true, think right now of someone you may regularly see that you don’t actually talk to – maybe a postman or a shopkeeper – do you have a sense of whether they are a happy or sad person. Bet you do!

At a subconscious level people pick up on what others think of them and respond accordingly.

If you constantly think of a particular person as a pain whom you really don’t want to spend time with – then that’s what they will be for you. Mostly, the person who is the biggest pain to you in the work context, goes home at night and is well loved, respected and enjoyed by his/her family. How can this be? It’s the same person! People pick up intuitively on what you think and feel about them. Have you ever known someone who you could sense didn’t like you? Were you more defensive when you were with them.

What To Do: If you are in regular conflict with someone – then maybe it is time for you to start to focus more on their good aspects than on the things you don’t like about them. If you can focus regularly on the things you can find to like about them, you’ll be amazed at how quickly that person will respond. Promise! If you can guide and lead others to do the same about people they conflict with you’ll transform the workplace.

Team Norms

When team members know what’s expected of them and what is embodied as acceptable behavior, then interpersonal conflict is reduced. Team members come into your workplace filled with their own rules, attitudes, values and personality styles. Develop team norms to help you bridge, what can at times be wide, chasms between team member’s internal rule books.

What to Do: Norms are the guidelines you create (with the entire team buying in to them – rather than enforcing the norms on them – because they won’t use them anyway!) to indicate the behavior required for successful performance and team cohesion. They are different from rules in that rules state exactly what must occur, when and how. Norms enable people to address performance and conflict issues as they arise.

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