Conflict is a natural result of team work. Not only is it natural, it’s vital to the growth of the team. If conflict is not occurring, it means the team doesn’t have the openness and trust to feel comfortable providing feedback and critical evaluation that will help the group grow as a result.
While it’s a perfectly normal and important occurrence, many people can find conflict stressful. It’s key to develop the right attitude when dealing with conflict. Here are two ways to adjust your mindset so you can embrace conflict and use it to bring your team to the next level.
First, when you find you have a difference of opinion with a team member, treat the conversation as a discussion instead of an argument. The focus of a discussion is always about what is right whereas the focus of an argument is about who is right. When we put our attention on what is good for the team, instead of trying to prove we’re right, we work on collaborating instead of competing. No one is forced to lose face.
Second, remember that we do not see things as they are, we see things as we are. Every person on your team has different beliefs, values and past experiences that influence how they see the world. Two people can look at the same situation and have two completely different perspectives on what is occurring. Concentrate on understanding how others see situations so you can work better together. You may find they have insight and ideas that you didn’t think of.
The important thing to remember about conflict is to remain open and be curious, not judgmental. Allow yourself to be influenced by others rather than trying to exercise total control.