Where humans are involved, conflict is sure to be present. On a team, conflict not addressed becomes a toxic, invisible coworker no one wants to be around but is forced to work with.
As a leader, you might think conflict is a normal part of running a team, but this could be hampering innovation and growth.
What effect does unchecked conflict have on team dynamics? How do we mitigate conflict or get rid of it entirely?
What’s the cost of conflict? And what will it cost you, your team, and the business over time?
In this episode, I talk about how to deal with conflict and start fostering collaboration and common ground.
Remember conflict isn’t inherently negative. When approached constructively, it can lead to growth, innovation and strong team dynamics. -Jen Thornton
0:00:01.4 S1: Conflict is normal, and part of leading teams... The conflicts not addressed. What is that costing you?
0:00:13.5 S2: The landscape of business is changing radically... Yeah, leadership is being taught the same hallway is always been taught, when the world is changing, it's time to bring our leadership styles along for the ride, thanks to cutting a neuroscience now have access to new tools and new language that inspires action, collaboration and innovation in the modern workplace. I started this podcast to bring you the best of these cutting as tools, exercises as practices and modern leadership strategies every single week, whether you're a company leader, a corporate visionary or an entrepreneur, This show gives you new insights and tender science and language of leadership as well as practical steps and tips you can take back to the office so you can lead your team in a powerful way, keeping your people happy and engaged while cheating your biggest goals, because no one has ever changed the world by doing things the way they've always been done. I'm your host, Jen to. I'm a talent strategist, an executive coach, speaker and the founder of free or coaching. Now, let's fix leadership.
0:01:17.4 S1: Recently, I've had several requests from companies to help with team alignments more than normal, and when I see a trend like this, I stop, I take notice, then I try to figure out what's driving it. I think there are a few reasons why there is a trend to worry about team conflict and team alignments. Teams just look different today. Most teams are a blend of remote and localized, and we're all figuring that out, team who have worked together for years likely changed over covid and look different today, companies are more likely to use consultants and temporary hires, so that changes the dynamic. Information is just coming to us in a form of a fire hose, and it can be overwhelming, and you know the world, we're all just trying to hold on and keep it together most days, so why does resolving conflict matter and why are leaders losing sleep about it? Because it's costly, very, very costly when working with a team and coaching them through conflict, one of the first things we get honest about is the cost of conflict and the cost that's having on them, their teams and the business. It's an interesting exercise to watch as a coach, what I know is, is no matter how much conflict a team is experiencing, everyone can easily agree on the cost, and it's a great way to get that team to start to align we...
0:02:48.0 S1: Isha is the cost conflict... The foundation of this question is typically the same everywhere, it's a waste of resources, this can be resources of time, budget, mental, horse power, any resource that you are leveraging will be drained with conflict, speaking of wasted resources. Double work, this is a waste of resources. Yes, but it also starts to build up frustration, overwhelmed, then the resources you have left over to produce the final output is limited, therefore less than ideal to turn over, no one wants to work for a group of leaders who can get along in cancelling on what's important. I'm sure you've been there and it's horrible, people will eventually leave, and likely your best people will be the first to leave, talented individuals have no interest in working on a team that's dysfunctional, stress and anxiety. Life is stressful enough, there is no reason to add to it by allowing conflict to be a core foundation of your team, the more stress your team is under, the less ability they have to be creative and innovative.
0:04:05.1 S2: Let's take a bio break from the conversation. Does your company need to prepare those upcoming leaders to take the rain, you learn more about our leadership academies and our coaching, and to see if your company is a good fit for our transformation program, visit three or four coaching dot. This list could go on and on.
0:04:27.2 S1: But what matters here is the cost of conflict, and as a leader, you have a responsibility to work through it, now that I've caused you stress and anxiety talking about the cost of conflict, what can you do to address it if you have it on your team? Well, first, foster open communication, encourage open and honest communication within your team, create an environment where team members feel safe to express their thoughts, concerns, their disagreements, without fear of retribution or fear of getting in trouble. Practice active listening and empathy. As a leader, practice active listening when conflict arises, don't just shut it down because you don't wanna be involved or you don't have time for it, truly hearing and understanding the perspective of all parties involved can lead to greater empathy and a deeper appreciation of the underlying issues by showing empathy, you can help de-escalate tensions and facilitate a more collaborative resolution process, foster mediation. I too often hear leaders say, let them work it out their adults, and at times this may be true, but what else might be true as sometimes you need to intervene when conflicts arise and provide a platform for open dialogue, consider employing mediation techniques or involving a third neutral party, such as an executive coach to help guide the resolution process, this can foster understanding, promote compromise and assist in finding a mutual beneficial solution, encourage collaboration and encourage shared goals.
0:06:14.0 S1: When you're fostering a culture of collaboration and shared goals within your team, you're encouraging your team members to find common ground and work towards a shared vision, celebrate everyone's contribution, no matter how big or small, all contributions matter by focusing on shared objectives and shared wins, conflicts can be reframed as opportunities for growth and learning rather than a source of discord, invest in leadership development, recognize the importance of conflict resolution skills and that it's a core competency for all leaders, find ways to invest in leadership training for our team. It can be as simple as sharing your favorite podcast or an article, or as big as a full-blown leadership course, equip your teams at the tools and techniques to effectively manage conflicts. The investment not only supports conflict resolution within the team, but also empowers individuals to navigate conflicts in their personal and professional lives. Here's what I know, conflict is never going away, even the best teams experience it from time to time, but proactively managing internal team conflicts, you can mitigate the cost associated with conflict, and you can foster a cultural collaboration and productivity. Remember, conflict is not inherited-ly negative, when approached constructively, it can lead to growth, innovation and strong team dynamics, and when we are comfortable addressing conflict, we are fixing leadership.
0:08:00.6 S2: Thanks for listening to Les big leadership. By hanging out with me today, you're already on your path, if you're looking to learn more and to see if your company is a good fit for our coaching and leadership education, and Hey, visit 304 coaching dot com, if you got value on the podcast, share it with a friend, and it would mean the world than if you leave a thoughtful review and a rating on iTunes, thanks again for listening, and I appreciate your work and fixing leadership.