Organizations work well when their people work well together. Building a culture of cooperation within an organization is a key element for success. Healthy conflicts can help build a culture of cooperation.
Different points of view, contrasting opinions and healthy debates can help you make the best decision. All you have to do is to strike the perfect balance between conflict and harmony.
Conflicts happen in every organization. It’s how the conflicts are handled that makes all the difference.
In some organizations these conflicts are managed in a healthy way and the organization benefits from it.
In other organizations, those conflicts are handled in an unhealthy way which may lead to the downfall of the organization.
This blog will talk about healthy conflict and how you can use them to your advantage.
In this article, you will learn about seven ways in which you can use healthy conflicts to your advantage.
- Keep An Eye On Person Who is Not Talking
Most people might think of conflict as a bad thing but Mamatha Chamarthi, CIO at Stellantis thinks that innovation and disruption are byproducts of healthy conflicts. She thinks that you need healthy conflict to kickstart a dialogue and bring in new and fresh perspectives.
The key to success is to ensure that every team member’s voice gets heard even if it does not align with your own opinion.
Not only can it help you come up with innovative ideas but it can also facilitate you in getting buy-ins from top stakeholders.
She also recommends leaders to intervene when conflict revolves around a single individual.
Take it offline to cool down the situation. Never try to force the issue and act like you know everything because this can force your employees to stay silent, which can create negative emotions, which can have drastic consequences for your team cohesion.
You don’t want your employees to feel uncomfortable while sharing their opinion. Always encourage other participants to share their opinion as it can provide you with different perspectives.
Sometimes, they might be seeing things from a whole new perspective which you might have ignored.
- Know When To Step Away From Heated Moments
Conflicts can quickly get out of hand and can turn into heated exchanges. As a business leader, you don’t want to become a part of the conflict but defuse the tension by stepping away from the situation at the right time. Sometimes, it would be better to give your team members a pause and leave the issue on the table for a few moments. This can help you minimize tensions.
Donie Lochan, Chief Technology Officer at Invesco shares his experience when he said, “At Invesco, we utilize Amazon’s “two-way door” approach to empower teams to make quicker decisions. Many decisions are easily reversible, and for those, it’s ok to be wrong. If you don’t get the intended outcome, you can always open the door and return. By recognizing this sentiment upfront, teams reduce the time for debate and analysis and instead focus on execution”
- Develop Healthy Tension
Think of a team like a rubber band. This will allow you to stretch healthy conflicts to the point where it can create tension you can easily manage. When your organization’s core values focus on honesty, trust and alignment, you are more likely to develop healthy tensions and healthy conflicts. Since you trust your team members, this gives you liberty to discuss topics that other organziations can not even touch upon. You can also discuss the root cause of the problem as well as find solutions that are the right fit. There is nothing wrong in creating some tension in your team especially if you can prevent it from getting out of your hand.
- Encourage and Reward Healthy Conflicts
Healthy conflict has its advantages. It can bring to light new ideas and opportunities that you might not have explored previously. It can teach your team to listen and stay flexible. More importantly, it also helps you practice your communication skills and find solutions to problems. That is why you should encourage healthy conflicts and even reward healthy conflicts. After all, these conflicts can lead to productive discussions and desired outcomes.
- Put Team Success Over Individual Brilliance
Take any successful organization who has successfully implemented digital transformation and you will find few key traits such as diversity, respect and innovation. If you want to drive innovation in your organziation, you need to build a diverse team of individuals. They can exchange their unique perspectives, which can pave the way for innovation. One of the downsides with having a diverse team is that it is harder to keep them on the same page. Make sure each team member contributes towards team success, not on achieving individual goals.
- Use Conflicts For Decision Making
Make sure that conflicts don’t become personal. When it does, you will start to see its negative impact instead of positive impact. If you can create healthy conflicts, it can even help you with decision making. If your team members have personal issues with one another, ask them to solve them face to face not via digital channels such as emails or instant messaging platforms.
When the conflict no longer stays personal, they will share their opinion more openly, which can help you find solutions to complex problems. Let’s say, you are confused about buying the best dedicated server and creating conflict will give you different perspectives, which would make the decision making process a whole lot easier.
- Be Transparent and Show Empathy
Seek first to understand then to be understood. This is what Steven R Covey wrote in his best selling book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and it can come in handy during conflicts. As a leader, your goal is to ensure transparency, listen to both parties and empathize with them. This will help you create an environment of trust, which goes a long way in helping you resolve conflicts and solve complex problems. The more transparency and empathy you show as a leader, the easier it will be for you to keep conflicts under control.
How do you handle healthy conflicts and take advantage of them? Share it with us in the comments section below.