At Med USA, we understand that conflict happens. In fact, conflict is not only natural, it is necessary and can even be desirable. Ultimately, it’s how you deal with conflict that matters. You can create a work environment where conflict is constructive and even productive.
Without conflict your business cannot grow. If the norms in your organization are never challenged, your competition will modernize and grow while you fall behind. Real change and growth comes from challenging the status quo and encouraging a respectful exchange of ideas between employers and employees. If conducted with an eye toward common goals, conflict can lead to embracing new ideas and positive change.
Conflict: Terminology within an organization can be internalized differently. When someone references a terminology within a group discussion, there is conflict due to the internalized interpretation.
Make conflict constructive: Define the terms and keep a running list of definitions for future reference. If confusion still exists, create a new term and gain consensus. If tension is high, suggest a silly term that makes no sense. This will reinforce how silly it is that we are arguing over terminology.
Conflict: This stems from the way people perceive reality. Some may be interpreting content as to how the organization “IS” vs. “WANT” vs. “SHOULD” in discussing problems and opportunities.
Make conflict constructive: Explain the three ways of perceiving reality and ensure participants are using the correct perception when discussing their intentions.
Conflict: This stems from the PAEI roles. Individuals will be conflicted by their focus on short term vs. long term and efficiency vs. effectiveness of topics discussed. (EX: Do we focus on margin or market share?)
Make conflict constructive: Awareness! Explain the conflict between roles and allow the implementor to decide after allowing everyone else to have a final word.
Conflict: Individual’s personal PAEI behavior traits. EX: An ‘E’ will show up 15 minutes late but still feel he is on time while an ‘A’ was likely there 5 minutes before the meeting started.
Make conflict constructive: Define a common set of rules on how meetings will be run and ENFORCE RULES!
Conflict: This is the conflict between making decisions when everyone has a voice (democracy) and implementation process when people need to shut up and execute (dictatorship.)
Make conflict constructive: After we finalize in 8 steps of decision making, ask whether they can live with the decision or not, if not- what other solution do you propose? By the end of finalization, there is consensus in the room of the TEAM’s solution and allow no further discussion.
6. Interest (CAPI)
Conflict: No one can have a win-win solution in both the long term and short term. Different people have different interests. (EX: A would most likely want more work from staff for less money vs. P would want to be paid more now for less work.)
Make conflict constructive: Deal with conflict 1-5 FIRST then the interest conflicts become transparent and cannot be hidden. Get people to understand that they may be losing in the short term but agree that they will win in the long run.
7. Values (Mission, Vision & Values)
Conflict: This stems from people’s views of what is right and wrong and personal beliefs
Make conflict constructive: Deal with conflict 1-6 FIRST. Help the individuals find a higher level of value, even if it is mutual trust and respect that everyone has their own set of values.
Source: Adizes Institute