How Conflict Can Help Your Workplace Team

“Conflict, when well managed, can breathe life and energy into workplace relationships that inspire more productivity, creativity and innovation.” ~ Mark Batson Baril

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Conflict - probably not the first item on your business-building success list, right?  However, conflict is a natural occurrence in your workplace and can either catalyze positive experiences that boost growth, or negative experiences that have been known to break a company. So, time to put it on your list!

Leaders who recognize conflict as a useful tool rather than something to avoid help boost team engagement and the vibrant exchange of ideas that grow a business.

How do you start to create the kind of organizational dynamics that harness the power of constructive conflict?  Here’s your team-building toolbox…

Start with yourself...the TKI Assessment

One tool that Resologics uses often in our work with leaders and teams is the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI). It is a self-report assessment that allows you to discover your (and your team members’) particular way of approaching conflict. The TKI has been the worldwide leader in this area for almost 40 years, so you can be confident that it's a tool that has withstood the rugged test of time.

I suggest starting with you because, make no mistake, you as a leader set the tone for your team’s ability to embrace constructive conflict. I go more deeply into the 5 conflict-handling behaviors here.

The online TKI questionnaire takes just 15 minutes, and includes a follow-up assessment call. Fascinating stuff -- understanding our individual ways of handling a group situation, as well as what mode others in the group might be tapping into! This is a great first step in building the mutual understanding, trust and openness a team needs to work with conflict to their advantage.

Where does your team fall on the conflict continuum? … the Innovation Estimator™ knows!

The best way to know where to start leveraging your team is to assess what a team with well-managed conflict looks like, and how your own team compares. With the free Resologics Innovation Estimator™ online tool, you can measure how your team uses conflict and answer this question:  Do you work well enough with conflict to get the job done?  We’ve created this unique (and easy-to-use) tool from a foundation of years of experience and research data, so you can compare the team to itself and other teams with some custom questions.

How productive and positive is your team? … Get a Team Diagnostic ™

Here is an effective and convenient next step to assess how your workplace team is doing on the positivity/productivity scale.  The Team Diagnostic™ is an online diagnostic you can access here which gives your team leaders, team members, and interested stakeholders a way to compare their view of the team’s strengths and weaknesses to a proven team model.  It's a unique approach in that it sees the team as a dynamic “system” with its own personality, spoken and unspoken rules, vision, blind spots, even moods. This gives you a powerful 30,000-ft. view of the team as a whole, as opposed to focusing on any single member. An easy entry point for this powerful tool is the Team Leader View Diagnostic. Only you take and see the results...

Bottom-line: 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.

Any one of these practical tools can make a difference right away. If you have any questions or would like more explanation about the mindset of embracing constructive conflict, please feel free to schedule a conversation with us here.