What is conflict? Conflict is simply two or more people with different perspectives. This definition does not assign a judgment to conflict. Inherently, conflict isn't negative or positive. Conflict can be productive, useful and beneficial for an organization.
Think about it. If you have a difficult problem to solve, isn't it better to talk through all the different options to come to the best solution? Without different opinions, you might not recognize, address or deal with potential issues. Those opinions are conflict, but are necessary to get to the best solution.
So, conflict isn't a bad thing. Whether or not conflict is productive is determined by how its handled.
The article below provides three ways to manage conflict in the workplace. These ideas work for a variety of circumstances.
- Honest and open communication - Tell the truth in a respectful way by sharing what you noticed, felt, wondered about, think, etc. Share your perspective as your story.
- Avoid triangulating - Address issues and concerns directly with the person you are concerned about. Don't involve other people.
- Resist making the other person wrong and being judge, jury and executioner - Listen to the other person and don't jump to conclusions.
Don't be afraid of conflict. See it for what it is and use it to build a stronger organization.