“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
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
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
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
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
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
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.Read More
We explored in the earlier article "How Trust is Essential to a productive Workplace," what can happen when trust is missing, and how trust is a cornerstone to employee engagement, productivity, and more. As Dr. David Ballard, the head of APA's Center for Organizational Excellence, says: “...Lack of trust should serve as a wake-up call for employers...Trust plays an important role in the workplace and affects employees’ well-being and job performance."Read More
Trust is both a cause and an effect of organization culture. Most experts would agree that trust is perhaps the most vital element of a productive, harmonious, and synergistic work environment. One Harvard University study showed that the level of trust in the work environment greatly influenced the productivity as well as the happiness of employees. According to Dr. Nancy Etcoff, the lead researcher on the study, work environments that foster positivity, interpersonal trust, respect, open communication and quality personal relationships build the most committed and productive workforce.
What does building trust mean to your workplace?Read More
Constructive Conflict is an extremely valuable tool that can help business teams enhance performance when it is actively and thoughtfully engaged in. The unplanned for and haphazard use of conflict within teams can sometimes enhance performance, yet carries with it the greater risk of negative outcomes when compared to anticipated and structured intellectual conflict interactions. Without some constructive conflict planning, teams tend towards conflict avoidance and accomodating behavior that can lead to stagnation and destructive conflicts.Read More