“How could conflict possibly be good for a business?” Conflict is not good or bad, or something that we can guard against like the flu. Conflict is a natural part of human behavior and a necessary part of teamwork, innovation, problem-solving, and change. What we do with the opposing ideas or needs that we call conflict can result in positive or negative outcomes, depending on how we handle them.Read More
Important Topics on Harnessing the Power of Conflict
- Building Great Teams 23
- Conflict Data Points 9
- Conflict Tools 37
- Conflict in the Workplace 19
- Costs & Value of Conflict 3
- Culture and Conflict 10
- Difficult Conversations 6
- Groupthink 5
- Innovation and Conflict 16
- Mediation 10
- Mergers and Acquisitions 4
- Ombudsman 4
- Productive Workplace 11
- Teamwork 9
- Trust Building in Teams 11
- Understanding Conflict 20
- World of Conflict 3
Volumes of research have been written about organizational culture as it relates to employee satisfaction. In our work as conflict advisers we always circle back to a foundational piece: Trust.
What happens when a team, a group of employees, or individuals with differing levels of trust (or huge amounts of distrust) begin to rub against each other and abrade relationships which turn into unproductive conflict? Enter the Trust Formula.Read More
Behind most disputes is a system that perpetuates the problem. Uncovering the system will reveal why these negative conflict outcomes keep coming back, and, hopefully, how to fix them for good.
What do we mean by “system?”
Have you ever been on a business team where the same issues seem to arise again and again? You thought you had dealt with the problem by training, shuffling the team, dismissing a person who was obviously at the center of the issue, or simply waiting for it to take care of itself - only to see something similar rear its ugly head a few weeks, months, or even years later.
If this is the case, count on the possibility that something deeper - systemic - is going on within your team or within your workplace. So, the challenge is to get to the root of the problem.Read More
Conflict, when well managed, can breathe life and energy into workplace relationships that inspire more productivity, creativity and innovation. How, as a leader, do you start to create the kind of organizational dynamics that harness the power of constructive conflict? Read on…Read More
Harnessing the power of positive conflict in your team and workplace creates a higher level of engagement, decision-making, innovative thinking, and productivity. The functional factor that creates this kind of high-performing team? Simply put, Trust.
Trust is something most people see as “soft,” unquantifiable and not worth measuring, thus not an element of good business to be considered.
Not so, according to our research, surveys, on-the-ground experience, and team training tool! Most importantly, trust is a trait that can be developed, improved upon and nurtured - a crucial consideration for any leader who wants to build high-quality, high-performing teams.Read More
It’s not an easy thing to spot - or accept - lack of trust from your team members. Erosion of trust could originate from any number of things: poor workplace policies, unsettling (true or untrue) rumors circulating around, lack of communication from management, disgruntled employee or partner disputes, or an organizational culture that doesn’t value its people.
Whatever the cause, the longer it persists the more difficult it is to rebuild that loss of trust. And the more dangerous it is to an organization’s ability to function successfully. Trust starts with leadership.Read More
Let’s face it: If you have more than two people in a room tasked to accomplish something, you have the possibility of conflict - different ideas, personalities, “conflict hooks” all bouncing against each other. You as the leader are responsible for ensuring a positive exchange and productive outcome. You set the example in your behavior which will lean your group either to resistance (read unproductive conflict) or to cooperation (mastering the productive, innovative power of conflict)..
Here are 10 behaviors that elicit cooperation and allow positive, healthy, productive conflict.Read More
It is never too soon to start building the foundation of constructive conflict into your team(s), to harness that creative power as well as preempt potential negative conflict.
Bottom-line reason? Conflict is one of the most powerful tools teams can have. Harnessing constructive conflict creates an exciting environment of innovation, forward momentum and productivity. Negative outcomes from conflict emerge when it is ignored.
I’m going to share with you some of the conflict-handling behaviors you might be able to spot in your team members - or yourself!Read More
If the ingredients of a successful workplace team include trust, open communication, support, respect, cohesiveness, healthy conflict, and fun … what happens when an abrasive leader or “bully boss” is tossed into the mix?
You got it - a recipe for disaster for the whole organization! If that leader’s behavior were to change, would the organization be more successful? The answer is a resounding yes. But how to address what is surely a sticky situation when a power position is in question?
Employee retention has become a big issue lately in this period of national economic growth and consistently low unemployment rates. So opportunity is knocking for great talent. You may not be hiring, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay attention to this hot market trend.
You may have a valued employee who is, at this moment, looking around for a “better” opportunity.
This is a crucial time for organizations to assess their employee retention policies and, perhaps more importantly, their employee job satisfaction levels.Read More
We now know how important it is to build the foundation of constructive conflict into your team(s) - not only to harness that creative power, but also to reduce the possibility of negative outcomes from conflict.
I’m reminded some weeks that Resologics is sometimes called in by clients in crisis. The costs involved in these situations can be staggering. This is one of the reasons I’m so motivated to talk about harnessing conflict for good outcomes.
One super proactive tool that Resologics uses in our work with leaders and teams is the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI®).Read More
Skillfully managed conflict can propel an organization down a path of new opportunities, awareness, innovation and growth. Handled badly, a dispute can quickly cause distraction, raise stress levels, and create barriers to good things like productivity, communications, and creativity.
The literature supports this position; however, only tip-of-the-arrow companies are seeing the value in investing in conflict management training. Is there ROI on an organization’s investment in training and support for the purpose of developing conflict competency skills and systems before a dispute arises?Read More
Let’s just cut to the real question: Why should leadership invest in a retreat?
The quick answer is, they shouldn’t - unless it is going to be a meaningful experience for everyone with well-defined outcomes.
The deeper answer is this: We live in an incredibly busy culture and work environment. This busyness means that lots of things get done. It also means that lots of things get left undone. Important conversations get put on the back burner. Things expressed in yesterday’s conflict get overtaken by today’s crisis or new deadline. Expectations become ignored or dismissed. We lose track of why we’re doing this work.
And, as the old Irish saying goes, “Expectation is just resentment waiting to happen!” The workplace begins to feel stressful, uninspiring, and even pocked with negative conflict. It’s exhausting.
Enter the definition of “retreat:” a quiet or secluded place in which a group of people can reset and think clearly…Read More
Conflict is a natural aspect of any change process, and well-managed constructive conflict will in fact accelerate and enhance success. Or, more to the point, unmanaged negative conflict can create a speed bump that will slow the process to near-stop – or a rocky landslide that causes long-term damage in its wake.
As a leader, which side of conflict do you want to be on?
The leader who sees conflict as a useful tool rather than a negative thing to avoid at all costs, helps increase employee engagement and the vibrant exchange of ideas that take your business on the innovation and growth path.
So how do you start to create the kind of organizational dynamics that harness the power of constructive conflict? Read on…Read More
In 2008, I started a small business renting living Christmas trees in pots as an alternative to cut or artificial trees. In 2012, we pitched the company on ABC’s Shark Tank, and were joined by billionaire investor Mark Cuban. Our business grew exponentially - bringing along with it the opportunity for conflict.
One of our challenges was in customer service.
The good and bad news was just how passionate folks were about their time-treasured holiday symbol of hope and joy. Before an acceptable tree was safely in their home, customers tended to get a little animated....Read More
Have you ever heard someone say they just love to go to meetings? Nope, I haven’t either. Here is why: You can find pages of advice on running an effective meeting - managing the agenda, the time, side-conversations, papers and reports, pre-defined objectives, concise action steps. Efficient logistically to be sure, but … where is the “human” piece?
The essential purpose of a meeting is to bring a team together to interact, bounce around ideas, discuss, and glean valuable results toward achieving a common goal. If that group is not encouraged to engage and participate, then ideas and interactions don’t surface, and the meeting becomes simply reporting and rehashing.
This is when I ask the question: “Why did you hire this creative, expert talent if you’re not using it?”
Trust is essential to a productive workplace and to a successful team venture. Trust is a cornerstone of our work with strengthening teams through conflict competency, and I’m often asked by leaders, “So, how do I actually go about creating that trust??”
To build trust within your team or group, start right out of the gate to create a space for open, honest interaction. Our team uses conversation to help people feel comfortable with one another. It’s a simple but powerful way to start building trust in a team.Read More
The title of a Harvard Business Review article snagged my attention: “Why We Should Be Disagreeing More at Work.” I have made a science and life’s work out of this concept, called (perhaps loftily) “conflict competence,” and to see it described so simply really turned my head. Author Amy Gallo’s take is refreshing and spot-on, and a recommended read.Read More
Your team has outlined your change effort process, including team agreements. You’ve done a great job building strength, common purpose, and cohesion within your team. Everyone bolts out of the conference room with Super Bowl energy, pumped-up for success! Yet … three weeks into implementation it’s already apparent that the team is woefully behind on its first accountability goal. What happened to the agreements that everyone signed-off on?Read More
Someone is soon to be leaving your organization, whether it’s a long-time employee, founder, partner, CEO. People leave organizations for many reasons; it is a normal feature of any workplace. The separation may be considered under “good terms,” maybe less so. Whatever the dynamic, any workplace separation involves much more than signing agreements and getting the security pass turned in.
It’s easier to let the separation blow over and “move on.” But these are sensitive, complex events that can make or break an organization.Read More