One of the areas of stress at work that we deal with most often as HR Consultants, is the stress that comes from someone not dealing with conflict in the workplace.
People fear conflict. Yet you will always get conflict no matter how much you try and avoid it. Conflict occurs as team members are committed to the team, they care about the team. They want the team to be successful.
They simply have differences in opinions or perspectives or goals regarding the team.
Conflict within a team is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s how you deal with people who get angry or frustrated that can be harmful to working relationships within a team.
It doesn’t have to be, anger and frustration are just as valid human emotions as are joy and happiness. We wouldn’t argue that joy and happiness are harmful to work in relationships within a team so we shouldn’t argue that anger and frustration are harmful also.
You should expect people to experience these kinds of emotions.
Conflict can be positive. It opens up issues for discussion. It promotes creativity and innovation in new ideas. It actually fosters understanding and builds.
The research clearly shows that high performing teams experience greater levels of conflict within the team, than do lower performing teams.
So again, it’s not the conflict that occurs. It’s how well the team manages that conflict.
I think it’s very important to reflect a little bit on your personal view of conflict it’s going to be very difficult to use conflict effectively or to successfully manage conflict.
If you have a negative view of conflict, if you dread conflict if you fear it, we often view conflict as a disruption to a relationship. Stressful.
Conflict is simply going to happen because of the diversity in a team.
One of the biggest obstacles to team development is people, because people are so diverse, where you’re going to have conflicts because of that diversity. But you need to look at that diversity as potential that diversity represents the potential for greater learning for greater creativity.
To improve problem solving, use the diversity that’s in the team and deal with the conflict that comes from it in a positive manner. Look for common answers. Look for common goals. Don’t look for differences. Don’t focus on those differences. Remember that conflict is part of a healthy relationship.
It’s not a battle between right and wrong. It’s simply a question of differences in opinions, or preferences, perspective, goals, recognise those differences for what they are, they’re simply differences so use them in a positive way.
If you need any assistance dealing with employees who are causing conflict at work, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 01527 909436.