Saturday, November 26, 2022

Workplace Team Conflict: Four Ways to Foster Healthy Conflict

By Umme Sutarwala - June 15, 2022 3 mins read

Although workplace conflict cannot be completely avoided, it can be effectively handled. As skilled leaders understand, leadership is about creating harmonious relationships and integrating people capital with the company vision. 

Business leaders are critical in reducing the detrimental effects of conflict. Part of this can be accomplished by cultivating a positive working culture that values trust and polite communication. Knowing how and when to act, on the other hand, is crucial. 

Managing a hybrid workforce is a whole new experience for many IT leaders. And resolving issues from afar is difficult. They can, however, take steps to promote healthy conflict and resolution while also ensuring that everyone is fighting fairly. 

When to bring the debate to a halt 

It’s crucial to know when to lay an issue to rest, just as it’s essential to promote healthy conflict. Leaders of high-performing teams can recognize when the discussion has elicited a good range of ideas, perspectives, and difficulties. They may then assist the team in reaching a decision. This entails intervening if the team is experiencing analytical paralysis or is stuck in the weeds of a disagreement. IT leaders must ensure that the team has done their investigation and is well prepared for the conversation, and then take the initiative to encourage and support them in taking intelligent risks when the time comes. 

Encourage curiosity when a debate emerges

It’s critical to preserve a sense of interest when a disagreement progresses beyond a casual talk and even becomes heated. When evaluating other people’s ideas, IT leaders should encourage staff to start with ‘why,’ rather than criticizing or dismissing them. This can aid in the development of more in-depth discussions.

Employees will be more likely to learn about one other’s ideas if they adopt this mindset rather than concentrating on the perceived shortcomings of opposing viewpoints. Curiosity helps employees avoid feeling personally targeted or emotionally burned out by making disagreements feel less personal. 

Also Read: Four Strategies for Fostering Empathy in the Workplace

Employees should receive training in healthy conflict resolution and problem-solving techniques 

People sometimes fail to take a stand for their convictions because they lack the confidence to do so. Education and training in interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, problem-solving, and, in particular, non-defensive communication will assist the employees. Personnel will be able to exercise their right to free speech in a non-intrusive and bullying manner by using goal setting, meeting management, and leadership.

Encourage a variety of viewpoints

In the end, diversity of thought contributes to positive solutions. High-performing team leaders continually emphasize the necessity of conflict and encourage their colleagues to engage in constructive debate, even if the tension makes them uncomfortable, in order to make the best judgments. 

In the hybrid world, this can be more difficult. It’s harder to measure team members’ reactions or determine the temperature in the room, and it’s simpler for team members to retreat from the conversation. As a result, leaders must be more intentional in cultivating a culture that encourages people to speak up. 

The most effective leaders not only model dispute resolution but also assist team members in expressing their own viewpoints. It helps if the team leader remembers to keep their personal observations to a minimum during talks so that others can speak first and purposefully elicit other points of view from around the table before moving on. This is especially crucial in remote teams where one or a few people tend to dominate the conversation.

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Umme Sutarwala

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

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