Posted in leadership, team



Conflict is merely a matter of individuals or groups having different perspectives on a subject. Conflict is inevitable on a team. The opposite of conflict is not peace and harmony, it is apathy. When people care about what they are working on, they speak out. Thus there are advantages to having at least some conflict on a team. Conflict generates energy and is a prerequisite for change. People talk about problems but until they generate some felt need to change, nothing happens. Conflict often provides the felt need.

Conflict can motivate people to do something. Conflict between the team and those outside the team can create team cohesion as members put aside their differences and unite to face the challenge. Conflicts helps a team get over the overly polite stage that exists when a team forms. If conflict is handled well, it produces more realistic and decisions within the team.

Of course, there is a downside to conflict. It can polarize the group. It can result in the use of political tactics rather than rational problem solving. It can cause disruption of production. In all this, trusting “the other side” can be hard.

So conflict should be seen as inevitable. It is neither good nor bad for the team. The key is how situations are handled, and how you, as a leader, manages the team during the situations. As a leader, you must channel the energy of the group toward the resolution.

From Tools for Team Leadership: Delivering the X-Factor in Team eXcellence by Gregory E. Huszczo



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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