In line with stress awareness month this April we're trying to raise the importance of workplace issues, conflict resolution and the value of team building to combat stress. It's often said that leadership and conflict go hand-in-hand and it's better to embrace conflict rather than avoid it as it's an important part of your job. It's about recognising conflict, understanding the nature of conflict and bringing resolutions that will serve you better as a leader. It's a great way to start building constructive conflict in your team in preparation of avoiding potential future negative conflict.
Conflict shouldn't always be viewed in a cynical light as it's one of the most powerful tools that teams can use to their advantage. Constructive conflict is about generating excitement, innovation, forward momentum and most importantly productivity. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument allows employers to better understand conflict resolution and be more confident in embracing constructive conflict.
Individuals within a team environment generally fit into one of the following 5 conflict handling modes:
Competing: Assertive and uncooperative individuals who pursue their own interests or concerns, ignorant of other individuals and stand up for their own position in pursuit of winning.
Collaborating: The collaborator is assertive but also cooperative. Attempting to work with another individual to find a solution and exploring the disagreement and acting supportive, they will generally confront to find a creative solution.
Compromising: This individual will look for a solution that will satisfy everyone and compromising by splitting the difference or exchanging concessions.
Avoiding: The team member is unassertive, uncooperative and does not address the conflict. They will avoid and postpone the issue for a better time to withdraw from the threatening situation.
Accommodating: This individual is unassertive and cooperative. They will oppose competing and neglect their own concerns to satisfy with selfless generosity to yield another person's point of view in the team. A combination of these will make for a more interesting team dynamic, the tool is important for raising awareness and can go a long way to understanding individuals in a group setting. Common mistakes made in the workplace can lead to conflict and emotionally driven decisions. It is essential for the health of a company that conflict is addressed through a specific resolution process. Companies must define acceptable behaviours, hitting conflict face on, picking battles and viewing it an opportunity for growth and development. Plus, it's a great step to building mutual understanding, trust and openness that creates the basis of a strong team when working conflict to their own advantage. There is often opposing positions, competitive tensions, power struggles, jealousy and the list is endless.
At Off Limits Event Professionals, the Team Work Challenges team building event is designed to tackle the challenges of workplace issues and support conflict resolution. The tasks include working as a unit and making the most of colleagues individual strengths to win. The challenges include the pyramids, operation countdown, blindfold human sheep herding, storming the castle, reach for the sky and blindfold tent building, each of the activities helps support time management, team unification and leadership skills. This will help support morale and relationship building with colleagues plus it will need to be dealt with proactively. It's important to tackle unresolved conflict as it can result in the loss of productivity, creativity and create barriers to co-operation and collaboration. In every conflict situation there's potential for a tremendous amount of learning, growth and development to stimulate innovation.
What are your thoughts on conflict resolution? Have you adopted any strategies in the workplace? We'd love to hear from you on Linkedin or Twitter.