How to Build Constructive Conflict into Your Team

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!

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The Top (Surprising) Reason Your Best Employees Leave

The Top (Surprising) Reason Your Best Employees Leave

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.

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Resologics provides conflict advising services to organizations to help them avoid disputes, optimize team dynamics for better outcomes, and reduce costs. The resologics team can be reached at 800.465.4141 | team@resologics.com | www.resologics.com

Want Constructive Conflict on Your Team? Get This Tool

Want Constructive Conflict on Your Team? Get This Tool

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®).

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5 Reasons to Get Proactive on Conflict Management Training

5 Reasons to Get Proactive on Conflict Management Training

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?

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Resologics provides conflict advising services to organizations to help them avoid disputes, optimize team dynamics for better outcomes, and reduce costs. The resologics team can be reached at 800.465.4141 | team@resologics.com | www.resologics.com

Team Retreats Worth Attending? Yes!

Team Retreats Worth Attending? Yes!

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…

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Constructive Conflict: Your Most Important Change Management Tool

Constructive Conflict: Your Most Important Change Management Tool

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…

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Managing Conflict in Customer Service: Have a P.E.P. talk

Managing Conflict in Customer Service: Have a P.E.P. talk

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....

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How to Create Meetings Worth Attending

How to Create Meetings Worth Attending

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?”

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Easy Conversation Starter Tool to Grow Team Trust

Easy Conversation Starter Tool to Grow Team Trust

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.

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A Case for Disagreeing in the Workplace

A Case for Disagreeing in the Workplace

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.  

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3 Reasons Agreements Get Derailed: Tales of Team Conflict

3 Reasons Agreements Get Derailed: Tales of Team Conflict

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?

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Resologics provides conflict advising services to organizations to help them avoid disputes, optimize team dynamics for better outcomes, and reduce costs. The resologics team can be reached at 800.465.4141 | team@resologics.com | www.resologics.com

Workplace Separations II: Considerations for a Smooth Organizational Transition

Workplace Separations II: Considerations for  a Smooth Organizational Transition

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.

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Resologics provides conflict advising services to organizations to help them avoid disputes, optimize team dynamics for better outcomes, and reduce costs. The resologics team can be reached at 800.465.4141 | team@resologics.com | www.resologics.com

Workplace Separations I: Considerations for a Smooth Team Transition

Workplace Separations I: Considerations for a Smooth  Team Transition

As a leader, you may have gone through this, are going through it now, or (inevitably) will sometime soon. What is it? One or more people separating from your team or organization.

Maybe your project phase is ending and some of the team is leaving. Or it's more complex: a founding partner has decided to leave after a long-standing dispute. Or worse, is being forced out.

There are as many reasons for people leaving teams as there are teams; it’s a normal feature of any workplace. And … it can be one of the most complex issues a team ever has to deal with.

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Resologics provides conflict advising services to organizations to help them avoid disputes, optimize team dynamics for better outcomes, and reduce costs. The resologics team can be reached at 800.465.4141 | team@resologics.com | www.resologics.com

3 Fundamentals to Understanding Trust Within Your Team

3 Fundamentals to Understanding Trust Within Your Team

Whether your team is a startup partnership, annual fund drive committee, you and your siblings working together to make caretaking decisions for your parents, or the exec board for a Fortune 500 company, understanding trust is a cornerstone of getting the job done well.

A treasured mentor and colleague once told me. “There is no such thing as trust.” That one comment has had me puzzled and searching for answers for years - in a good way.

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Workplace Conflict: When it’s time for a mediator

Workplace Conflict: When it’s time for a mediator

An organization, no matter what size, can find itself facing a conflict so entrenched, so ugly, that a key person is paralyzing the productivity of an entire group, a department is chronically unable to come up with a new idea, or leadership is in such disarray that partners aren’t speaking to each other and some are ready to walk.

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Resologics provides conflict advising services to organizations to help them avoid disputes, optimize team dynamics for better outcomes, and reduce costs. The resologics team can be reached at 800.465.4141 | team@resologics.com | www.resologics.com

Calculating the Costs of Conflict in Your Workplace Team

Calculating the Costs of Conflict in Your Workplace Team

I’m about to give you a cold, hard truth: You have conflict in your workplace - yes, you. But here is some good news: Conflict is a natural occurrence, any time there are two or more people in the same space who have a divergent idea, need, or want. It’s normal, inevitable, and every organization experiences it.

 

Conflict does not have to be negative. In fact, proactively engaging with conflict is a proven best practice, creating an environment of robust communication, high engagement, and innovative contributions to business growth. Constructive conflict is perhaps the most effective innovation generator you’ve never heard of.

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Resologics provides conflict advising services to organizations to help them avoid disputes, optimize team dynamics for better outcomes, and reduce costs. The resologics team can be reached at 800.465.4141 | team@resologics.com | www.resologics.com

Conflict Management Skills: The New Strategic Advantage

Conflict Management Skills: The New Strategic Advantage

An active conflict is a crossroads. Skillfully managed, an active conflict can propel an organization down a path of new opportunities, awareness, and ideas. Handled badly, a dispute can quickly cause distraction, raise stress levels, and create barriers to good things like productivity, communications, and creativity.

Much has been written on the great benefits of dispute resolution, and of the potentially transformative power of high-quality interventions brought in to play when circumstances have already become contentious and disruptive. As an antidote to the destructive problems of organizational conflict gone wrong, responsive mediation, coaching and similar supportive efforts are proven methods of returning a working team to a successful path. The value of getting back to work, having harnessed the catalytic energy of opposing ideas, can’t be overstated.

But what is the value of taking a more proactive approach to dispute resolution? Is there a way to quantify the return on an organization’s investment in training and support for the purpose of developing conflict competency skills and systems before a dispute arises?

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Team agreements: A key to high-performing, happy teams

Team agreements: A key to high-performing, happy teams

Whether it's an operating agreement between startup founders, a safe communications agreement within a team, or ground rules for a project committee -- every team has agreements around how they will work together.

For most teams these agreements are unspoken, unwritten and un-negotiated, nonetheless they become the rules of behavior and are binding on team members. They are "the way things are done around here." They may not be in the policies and procedures manual, but it doesn't take long for new team members to figure out what is rewarded and what is punished.

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Workplace Conflict: How to Make It Good for Business

Workplace Conflict: How to Make It Good for Business

Instead of avoiding conflict which only makes it more destructive, welcome conflict in your workplace as a tool for creative interaction, innovation, and employee engagement. Well-managed conflict is good for business!

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Creative Tension in the Workplace: Who needs it? You do!

Creative Tension in the Workplace: Who needs it? You do!

Creative Tension Zone is where huge ideas emerge, innovation thrives, and empires are built! The most successful workplace teams know how to manage constructive conflict to encourage creative tension. What every leader needs to know about leveraging the power of conflict in a team.

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