Effective leaders know that they need good conflict management and resolution skills. It’s inevitable that where people are concerned, conflict will happen, and as a leader, it will fall to you to deal with that conflict.
But what if there was a better, more effective leadership tool than conflict management and resolution?
Author Lawrence W. Wilson explains the flaws in these two classic ways of handling conflict:
- “Conflict management assumes that conflict is a constant feature of group life. The idea is to keep it within boundaries, not to eliminate it.
- Conflict resolution sees conflict as an interruption of normal life. The idea is to find a solution—usually a compromise—as quickly as possible.”
These two approaches don’t really get to the heart of the problem, they just attempt to contain the problem.
Wilson shares a third, more effective approach: Conflict Transformation. This approach “sees conflict not as a problem to be managed or resolved but as an opportunity to strengthen the common life of any group.”
Wow! Did you catch that? “An opportunity to strengthen the common life of any group” – what an incredible perspective! Instead of just “managing” the conflict, or merely slapping a patch on it to quickly “resolve” the problem, use it as an opportunity to strengthen your team!
Wilson leaves us with six keys for changing your leadership approach from one of conflict management and resolution to one of effective conflict transformation:
- View conflict as opportunity
- Respect your adversary
- Identify primary issues
- Envision a shared future
- Know when to quit
- Capture the learning
Take these keys to heart and start transforming your leadership and effectiveness today!
To read the full article by Lawrence W. Wilson, please click here.