Three Key Strategies for Fostering Constructive Conflict in the Workplace

Three Key Strategies for Fostering Constructive Conflict in the Workplace
Three Key Strategies for Fostering Constructive Conflict in the Workplace

When a company has established a culture of critical thinking and is taking on complex challenges, disputes may, at their best, reflect this. In the worst cases, they can sabotage professional relationships and cause emotional burnout.

Agreeing or not, arguing with coworkers can be beneficial. The notion that conflict is unproductive and harmful to workplace culture – and the idea that organizations should avoid conflict entirely is based on an erroneous assumption that all conflicts are unhealthy and unproductive. This is especially true as CIOs and IT departments start to reconsider the approach they interact with IT and business.

When enterprises extend their understanding of what constitutes “conflict,” that assertion is refuted.

Healthy disagreement creates space for listening to others, respecting their opinions, and considering their opinions during collaborative, iterative, and agile processes. Building a healthy, just, and inclusive workplace culture requires maintaining a variety of opinions and experiences.

Here are three strategies to foster a strong culture that encourages healthy disputes and more effective ideation and problem-solving processes, as well as how IT leaders and technologists have traditionally managed conflict.

Foster a culture of open communication and cooperation

CIOs sometimes rely on conflict-reducing strategies that might increase employee suspicion and mistrust when it comes to major obstacles that might not have an obvious solution, including important design decisions or budget trade-offs. Some of these strategies involve executive decisions made behind closed doors or blind voting on important IT matters.

Building trust and solid working relationships is better accomplished by freely discussing decisions. This strategy will allow team members to learn more about the decision-making process and the motivations behind important decisions. Discuss why they support one option over another and what value levers they might use to help a project achieve its goals. In addition, which option best aligns with the company’s strategy and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be done by IT leaders, team members, and possibly even personnel from other areas of the firm.

Setting expectations jointly between IT and the business

An “we vs. them” approach toward the remnant of the organization, especially company counterparts, is a recurrent issue among IT leaders. It can occur when one or both parties are unable to see the benefits that the other offers.

Also Read: Workplace Team Conflict: Four Ways to Foster Healthy Conflict

For instance, IT teams frequently operate in silos. In order to get past obstacles, corporate leadership can create shadow IT teams who operate without express IT department authority and compromise the overall IT strategy. This is a formula for inefficient organizational structure.

To ensure that the company is aware of the scope of the job, companies must first outline and define the product goals, including requirements collection, important design decisions, what defines a finished product, training preparation, and continuing support. IT leaders can then identify crucial stages in the process where including important business stakeholders would result in the most fruitful outcomes.

Change the way feedback is given to prevent pointing fingers

In a toxic corporate environment, leaders frequently hold employees accountable for their mistakes. This is normal, despite the conflict: Organizational challenges are abstract and unseen in a meeting or conversation, but people tend to concentrate on individuals since they are concrete and frequently the center of attention.

Instead, enterprises must emphasize the distinction between people and problems, providing criticism politely and professionally without pointing the finger. It is more complex than it appears, yet it is a talent that can be acquired. If leaders are going to work with product teams that may last for years, they may need to upgrade their skills and get some training.

Companies must allow employees enough time to develop potential solutions as well as voice criticism. This makes sure that criticism is not delivered as a personal or derogatory attack, which encourages constructive disagreement and improvement suggestions.

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Umme Sutarwala is a Global News Correspondent with OnDot Media. She is a media graduate with 2+ years of experience in content creation and management. Previously, she has worked with MNCs in the E-commerce and Finance domain