At some point in your journey as a leader, you’re going to have to deal with conflict. Much of your legacy as a leader will be reflective of how well you held your team together in order to maintain good chemistry. If, as a leader, you fail to resolve a conflict you’ll lose respect and ultimately your reputation will suffer. Here are 4 ways to resolve conflict and preserve team unity.
Approach Conflict with Confidence
When approaching conflict on your team, it’s important to address it with confidence. If you avoid conflict, tension will continue to grow and can lead to some serious issues with your team. An unwillingness to resolve conflict will create frustration, worry, anxiety and usually, a lack of positive and constructive communication. The sooner you address conflict, the easier it will be to solve and the more likely it will be for you to preserve team unity.
As my dad always said, “God gave you two ears and one mouth, use them in proportion.” When there’s conflict, take the time to listen to all concerned parties. Take notes about the facts and events that led to the conflict. Refrain from jumping to conclusions or relying upon your own personal bias to form an opinion. After gathering the facts, bring all concerned parties together and have them explain their side of the conflict to each other. Facilitate collaboration with encouragement and point them toward a common goal which must include the preservation of team unity.
When Collaboration Fails, Focus on a Compromise
If, after working together to accomplish the common goal of resolving the conflict, collaboration fails, you must encourage both sides to consider a compromise. In a compromise, both sides must be willing to give something up to preserve team unity. As a leader, your primary responsibility is to help both sides build a bridge they can walk over together, so to speak. During this process, be certain that all negative feelings have been addressed and worked through.
As a leader, it’s crucial that you remain positive while resolving conflict. This alone will be the key ingredient in your attempt to preserve team unity. Express your appreciation for all the positive attributes that both sides bring to your team. Your gratitude will be reflective in your positive attitude and will have an important impact on your ability to resolve the conflict. If you lead with negative feelings or thoughts about how the conflict is having a negative impact on your team, you’ll complicate the situation. Be positive while resolving conflict. When you do, you’ll be an example for your team and you show them how team unity can be preserved when conflict is resolved.
Remember, your legacy as a leader will be reflective of how well you held your team together in order to maintain good chemistry. There is no need to be afraid of conflict. To preserve team unity, conflict must be resolved. Remember that conflict will not resolve itself; it takes the skills of a successful leader to do so.
Founder of RedRock Leadership