Your stomach starts to turn like you are on a roller coaster climbing up that first incline. You hear the bickering over your cubical wall. You try to convince yourself that once they get it out everything will be better. The bickering escalates and now your stomach rushes up to your throat as your roller coaster car rushes down the first hill. You let the bickering continue convincing yourself that the increase in volume is an indication of the end. Soon the inertia of the first twist in the roller coaster ride forcefully jerks you back to reality. You know what must be done. You have to address the conflict head on before it spreads to the rest of your team.
Conflict will happen as sure as the sun will rise. Using the story above you can change bickering to almost anything from gossip to jealousy to a disagreement and even to being honest and forthright. The more you resist conflict the longer your roller coaster ride will be, the more your stomach will enter your throat and the more the inertia will throw you around with all the twists and turns. Keep in mind that the anticipation of an event is always far worse than the event itself.
People who hate conflict suffer from avoidance or accommodation. When you avoid conflict your team will never achieve great results. When you accommodate people to avoid conflict, you are usually rewarding the wrong behaviors and alienating your high-contributors.
Conflict is part of the natural order. Conflict is not a sign of a dysfunctional team. Productive conflict is essential for a team’s survival. Effectively managing conflict is arguably the hardest thing a manager has to do. Here are 8 reasons why you should use conflict:
- holds the appropriate people accountable at the right time
- improves processes and policies
- challenges the status quo
- gives life and sustainability to new ideas
- promotes innovation
- eliminates inappropriate behaviors
- provides clarity when something is unclear
- forces you to make tough decisions
Face conflict head on and without any delays. Understand that the sick feeling in your stomach will last until the conflict has been dealt with. Don’t let the feeling of uneasiness stop you from confronting conflict, it will always be there. Managers have to make conflict their BFF if their team is to be unstoppable.
More Actionable Advice:
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