If there is one thing that takes a team off of its focus or its ability to innovate, it is conflict. Yet conflict is unavoidable. It’s part of the human dynamics of people working together. How a manager approaches conflict can elevate a team’s performance and increase its ability to produce results.
Here are the three best ways to deal with team conflict:
1. Minimize potential for conflict.
This proactive approach works well: At your next meeting, let everyone know that you expect conflict as part of the innovation process and want them to manage issues as they come up. Set up the parameters for when they should involve you.
2. Coach team members.
Take the time to coach your team members on their conflict-resolution skills. Help them see their own personality style and the types of conflicts that could arise with others who have different styles. Guide them to see that the ability to solve conflict is a necessary skill and is part of their overall performance equation.
3. See the positive.
There will always be conflict, but team members have the power to turn it into a positive outcome. Help your team members understand the difference between constructive and destructive conflict. There’s no room for personal attacks and placing blame. Constructive conflict leads to change and transformation.
When working with others, we will encounter differences of opinions and approaches, but our attitudes can transform conflict and create positive results.