Typically, we think of conflict as a negative event when it occurs. The truth, however, is that conflict is often a blessing in disguise and being aware of its potential up side can help us leverage it in productive ways. Consider these up sides of conflict.

One: Conflict is often an early warning system that the organizational system needs revamping
Organizations don't just grow, they change. Their environments change, their needs change and the organizational structure that worked at one time no longer works as it did. The reason is simple: What got you to here got you to here. It will not get you to there.

When the old way of doing things has run its course and is no longer working, conflict often occurs. There may be disagreements on strategy, tension between leaders or teams, frustration with work flow and substandard results. All of these, and other manifestations of conflict are warning you that it is time to relook at how you are doing things and what you are doing. In this case, conflict is warning you that things need to change! If you don't ignore the warning sign it can help you move forward. If you ignore it, the conflict will become worse.

Two, conflict may be telling you that greater clarity is needed
When there is not organizational clarity, leaders, teams or individuals step in and provide their own clarity. Inevitably this will result in conflict as competing ideas of who we are and what we are about collide with one another. In this case, the conflict is telling you that you need to clarify your clarity so that alignment is possible and everyone is working toward the same goals.

Ironically, the process of refining your clarity may bring greater conflict as ideas and people vie for their definition. This is good as it is in the clash of ideas that the best ideas are born. But until you come to agreement on who you are and what you are about you will never get alignment and without alignment you will never reach your organizational potential. In this case the conflict is telling you that you don't have adequate alignment and agreement.

Three: Conflict may be telling you that there are individuals who are not operating from a place of healthy EQ (Emotional Intelligence)
Healthy EQ is essential for healthy organizations. People who have unhealthy EQ can be defensive, closed to feedback, create conflict with those around them and are often responsible for relational issues with those around them. When there is a pattern of relational conflict around an individual you are probably dealing with an EQ issues that needs to be resolved.

It is easy to overlook these situations out of fear of conflict. Yet their behaviors are creating conflict already and disempowering those who are impacted by their relational issues. Not to deal with this is to sentence those in proximity to the effects of their behavior. 

When conflict pops up in your organization don't assume it is a bad thing. It is probably telling you something and understanding what it is saying can be valuable to your ongoing success. 

  • Nov 26, 2018
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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