02 Feb Magic in the Room #42: Managing Conflict
Whether you leverage it or avoid it, how you manage conflict will shape your leadership journey and influence your success. Because teams are made up of individuals who each have unique personalities, styles, or values, conflict is a human condition. We all face it. But not all conflict is bad. In this episode, Luke, Hannah, and Chris discuss tactics to foster healthy conflict that builds stronger relationships and better business outcomes.
This podcast is called The Magic in the Room because the team is passionate about getting people together in a room and putting issues on the table in a healthy way. Your hosts reflect on leaders they have encountered who have bravely tackled something that could have been contentious. They examine how these leaders managed conflict by creating an environment where issues could be worked through productively.
Hannah shares how she has seen Luke get clients into a room and enable them to voice difficult concerns that they are afraid of expressing. It’s often because they are concerned that they will come across as too emotional or fearful of how others will respond. Hannah has observed how Luke focuses on listening and empathizing with others’ viewpoints. In doing so, Hannah has observed Luke builds powerful bonds.
Luke shares his belief that It’s about helping people to create healthy and safe spaces for conflict. Chris talks about how many make the mistake of trying to be collaborative when they should be accommodating. Chris also warns that teams competing when they should be accommodating is an even bigger issue. Sometimes we need to show up for the other person by simply listening to them.
For Hannah, conflict can be taken back to basic human psychology. We don’t want to feel abandoned and that our opinions do not matter or that our voice goes unheard. When hurt, we need the other party to keep building trust so that we can tolerate and overcome conflict in relationships.
When in conflict, we are often uncooperative or highly cooperative. Equally, when attempting to resolve the dispute, we will be either assertive or unassertive. But the science of conflict will involve several possible outcomes. For example, you could be highly assertive but low in cooperativeness. High cooperativeness and low assertiveness could be seen and be more accommodating. But in the middle of both of them is a compromise.
If you are a little assertive and cooperative, compromise can be found. But if you are unassertive and uncooperative, you could end up purposely avoiding conflict altogether. There are many different conflict styles caused by competing, collaborating, compromising, and avoiding issues. Managing conflict can be made much easier by identifying what their techniques are and then talking through how we get intentional about using the right style at the right time.
We’d love to talk about how conflict influences teams and conflict processes. If you need help figuring out the journey, your teams embark on when in conflict, you can reach Chris, Hannah, and Luke at firstname.lastname@example.org.