Mark Twain once wrote, “Never have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.”
Sometimes, workplace conflict can feel like this—one person is armed to the teeth and ready to fight; another is doing everything they can to avoid even the appearance of conflict.
It seems like some people love to fight and, if there’s a chance to mix it up, they’re right there in the mix. Other people sense conflict brewing and run for the hills.
They’d rather deal with the difficulties of an uncomfortable situation than the difficulties of facing a problem with a coworker.
However, as long as workplaces are made of people with different strengths, wiring, and dispositions—conflict is inevitable.
It’s important to remember, though, that conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing or something to be avoided at all costs.
Healthy conflict has its place in an organization. In fact, the healthiest organizations embrace conflict because they know it has the power to make them better.
THE 5 BENEFITS OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION TRAINING
Learning to handle conflict is like learning to fight fairly. When you equip your teams to engage in conflict resolution training, you give them the tools to disagree, communicate, understand one another better, and work more effectively.
The most effective and actionable conflict resolution training:
DISPELS the concept that conflict should always be avoided.
It’s impossible to completely avoid conflict, and if you are in business, why would you want to anyway?
Consider the well-documented conflict between Steve Jobs and just about anybody he worked with. Granted, his leadership style was an acquired taste, but the outcomes he produced with his unorthodox style turned Apple into the world’s first trillion-dollar company.
Conflict resolution training teaches you to fight fairly, understand how you are wired, and sharpen each other so the best ideas rise to the surface.
PROVIDES real-time feedback on personal conflict styles and approaches.
Some people are confrontational and don’t even know why.
Conflict resolution training combined with a tool like the RightPath Resources Path4 and Path6 behavioral assessments can help people understand how the way they are wired can directly impact their approach to conflict.
Conflict resolution training can provide valuable feedback on your conflict style and teach you ways to fairly approach disagreements with others and reach a consensus.
BUILDS trust and cooperation among team members.
At the core of every team, there must be trust. When poorly handled conflict causes trust to break down, it can take years to rebuild.
Conflict resolution training can enhance trust and cooperation because it teaches you how to diffuse situations and remove the tendency to personally attack. When cooperation and trust increase, it makes teams more effective and productive.
ENHANCES decision making.
Often conflict arises because someone needs to make a decision and that leads to a difference of opinion.
Conflict resolution training can help people become active listeners who are willing to hear out other people’s opinions. This allows you to examine all sides of an issue before making a decision.
MAXIMIZES team effectiveness.
The inability of teams to communicate well and work through conflict together can paralyze effectiveness. If teams lack trust, or people more averse to conflict simply keep their mouths shut, the best idea may stay buried. This kills team effectiveness.
Conflict resolution training can provide the safety to speak up and cultivate a space where teams work together to bring the best idea to life.
In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni writes, “Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, weaknesses, and concerns without fear of reprisal.”
Most teams aren’t like this by default, but they can get there by design.
Choosing a conflict resolution training that establishes a method for engaging in healthy, creative conflict is the first step toward building a healthy culture and cohesive teams.
When teams learn to disagree respectfully, listen to others’ opinions and ideas, give constructive criticism, and discover creative solutions to common problems, they are well on their way to healthy conflict management.
BRING IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION TRAINING BEFORE YOU NEED IT
Since conflict is inevitable, the best time to engage in conflict resolution training is before you need it. And that means now. Provide your team with an actionable plan. Teach them to fight fairly and with respect. Show them how to resolve conflict and you minimize the damage that can come from poor conflict resolution skills.
If your team is struggling with how to resolve conflict, then it’s critical to provide conflict resolution training as soon as possible before irreparable damage is done.
Healthy conflict is a critical part of any business; done right, it can strengthen your team and empower your culture.
If you are interested in learning more about RightPath Resources Mastering Creative Conflict workshop, just reach out to us here. We help leaders like you build high-performance teams all day, every day. [CTA].