Conflict is never easy. When in a conflict, it’s important to take a step back and reflect.
“Is this a conflict that is about something deeper?”
“Did this stem from a misunderstanding?"
“Where is the other person coming from?”
“What do I want the outcome to be?”
Not all conflict is bad, healthy conflict can be beneficial to a highly effective team.
Here are some quotes to help you think it through.
- "A good manager doesn't try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people. If you're the boss and your people fight you openly when they think that you are wrong--that's healthy." Robert Townsend
- "For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate." Margaret Heffernan
- "When people respond too quickly, they often respond to the wrong issue. Listening helps us focus on the heart of the conflict. When we listen, understand, and respect each other's ideas, we can then find a solution in which both of us are winners." Dr. Gary Chapman
- "If you have learned how to disagree without being disagreeable, then you have discovered the secret of getting along--whether it be business, family relations, or life itself." Bernard Meltzer
- “Successful leaders manage conflict; they don’t shy away from it or suppress it but see it as an engine of creativity and innovation. Some of the most creative ideas come out of people in conflict remaining in conversation with one another rather than flying into their own corners or staking out entrenched positions. The challenge for leaders is to develop structures and processes in which such conflicts can be orchestrated productively.” Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky
- "Address the issue early, before it turns into a bigger problem, but be sure to wait until things have cooled down. It's difficult to have a productive discussion if you and your colleague are angry or upset. Wait until you are both clear-headed.” David W. Ballard
- "Conflict is inevitable but combat is optional." Max Lucado
- "It's like a lightning storm on a warm summer night; though the lightning itself may be scary it helps to clean the air. Negatively charged ions produced by the storm attach themselves to pollutants, which fall to the ground. That's why the air smells so clean at times. The same is true when you deal with disagreements in an appropriate way." Mitch Temple
- “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a lifelong quest of the wise." Shannon L. Alder
Remember, not all conflict is bad. Your actions and reactions can make conflict into an opportunity to have a critical conversation.
If you or your team could benefit from a deep dive into your team dynamics, ECC can help. Give us a call at +1.847.920.0190.