When individuals and team members work together in an organization, conflict is bound to arise. Oftentimes, the root of occurring conflict between team members, departments, or management and employees is actually the goals that unify them. While competing goals promote creativity, innovation, and change, they too can be a source of conflict in any organization.
Think about it this way, if there was zero conflict in an organization, the organization would be stagnant and unresponsive to change. Therefore conflict should not be viewed as being good or bad but evaluated from a broader basis. The key is to have managed conflict instead of out-of-control conflict.
Let’s examine out-of-control conflict and managed conflict:
- Damages relationships and discourages cooperation.
- Results in defensiveness and hidden agendas.
- Wastes resources, time, and money.
- Focuses on faultfinding and censuring.
- Creates adversaries and hurt feelings.
- Strengthens relationships and builds teamwork.
- Encourages open communication and enhances problem solving.
- Resolves problems and increases team effectiveness.
- Concentrates on creating win-win situations
- Creates allies and stimulates harmony.
Conflict resolution must be characterized by open discussion, listening, and ample focus on attacking the problem and not a person. It is important that the involved parties look for points of compromise and occasionally reach out to a third party to help with problem resolution. Both parties’ openness promotes managed conflict instead of out-of-control conflict, allowing the organization to achieve synergy.