Is there conflict in your organization? Do you always recognize workplace conflict? Sometimes conflict is hidden or existing underground.
There are a few basics about conflict.
The first is that conflict is a natural part of people working together. Anytime you have two or more persons actively engaged in workplace activities, you’ll likely face some conflict.
Also, conflict can often be determined to be bad or good, okay or harmful, based on how it is managed. Mismanaged conflict is typically noted as bad conflict.
A final point about conflict is that avoidance of managing conflict will often result in more harmful conflict.
Resolutions to conflict or minimizing any harmful effects is not a one size fits all approach. Different types or styles of conflict may require different approaches.
One of the most challenging aspects of conflict is recognizing it in all its various forms.
It is common that workplace leaders often misunderstand the dynamics of conflict. Sometimes this is denial, “No, our teams are doing great. We had some conflict issues a while ago but not recently.”
Many people believe that conflict arises when there is organizational change, modifications to policies, rules, and guidelines. This is a great time for conflict to emerge, but it may also not always be so apparent.
From my experiences conflict that is under the covers (not easily visible) occurs in two scenarios.
The first is when there is fear of being removed from the team if you speak of conflict. It is the shoot-the-messenger concept. Don’t speak of conflict or you will be blacklisted or fired.
The second often follows the first and that is that some employees really like the drama. Conflict exposed is not as dramatic as conflict behind the bosses back.
Do you have workplace conflict? If you have two or more people working together you probably do.
Are you prepared to effectively manage it?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.