Most of us need to collaborate or negotiate with at least someone every day. In an ideal situation, everyone with whom we work will have the same goals that we do – but that is rarely the case.
When we interact with others, we have to give up at least some control of the situation’s outcome. We will not always get our way, and we can’t predict or prescribe the actions of others. Knowing this, the best thing we can do is choose behaviors that are most likely to lead to a positive outcome for everyone involved – stepping outside of our own needs and actively managing conflict.
Developing an awareness of the ways people might react to conflict prepares us for any situation – we can modify our own behavior to encourage and contribute to the best possible resolution. But beyond that resolution, there are good things that come from conflict in process:
- Underlying issues are brought to light – reducing the likelihood of recurring issues
- Creative solutions (and the skills to arrive at them) are developed when trying to accommodate different needs
- Heightened self-awareness and awareness of others better enables us to work on a team and understand the consequences of our actions
- Good feelings are generated from having gotten through a tough time in a positive way
The first step toward embracing conflict is acknowledging these long-term benefits of conflict management – then figuring out how to adjust existing tendencies to maximize those benefits.
The best thing for a team is to create an environment that welcomes conflict and expects all employees to seek out appropriate strategies. To help your team find the appropriate strategy in any situation, HRDQ developed the Conflict Strategies Inventory – a self-assessment and workshop designed to explore the many possible ways to handle conflict, and how to recognize the best way.
By beginning with self-assessment, the Inventory shows each participant what their natural tendencies are when faced with conflict. With this knowledge, they can begin action planning for future conflict management and become better equipped to address the needs of everyone with whom they interact (including themselves)
Give the Conflict Strategies Inventory a try today, and help your team not only manage conflict, but turn it into a positive.