6 practical ideas in dealing with team conflict
Do It Now
The single hardest thing to do in dealing with conflict is to do it in a timely fashion. When it comes to dealing with a conflict no time ever seems to be the right time, so you can procrastinate forever. Trying to convince yourself that you will address it later never works. You can always convince yourself that now is not the right time and procrastinate forever. Don’t wait! Do it now. Time does not automatically heal all and waiting too long to take the initiative and act can actually increase the chances of bitterness and resentment that can fester.
Do It With Research
He who jumps to conclusions has a bad landing. Do your homework. Think about what you have seen or heard. Don’t rush to judgment. Be ready to be wrong and eat humble pie if it becomes clear you have been in error or have incomplete or inaccurate information. Take your time to get all the facts –but don’t take too much time!
Do It With Courage
“Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. And everything you do must be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
I think the key is to trust your gut and be courageous and strong as you deal with people over difficult subjects or a conflict you are experiencing. Conflict is uncomfortable and it takes courage to confront people when it is called for. Running away from conflict or ignoring it is the default for most of us. In my experience it is always better to deal with conflict now. This frees you up to focus on positives. Holding on to shit that’s bugging you only brings you down.
Do It With Honesty
Don’t dance around the issue. Don’t soft sell or water it down. Speak the truth, the whole truth–even the parts that may hurt. Honesty is still the best policy. My responsibility is to tell the truth, as I perceive it, not to hide the truth because it’s uncomfortable. Having integrity and being honest go hand in hand. In team relationships we must be honest even if the truth hurts as we all now it sometimes does. Speaking the truth does not always make conflict go away, but at least others know they are dealing with someone who has values and integrity.
Do It With Humility
Showing humility and compassion when confronting people surely helps, but doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome. If the goal is truly to resolve conflict and build the relationship, then drop the pride. Just think about how many times, it was you that fucked up. How would you want a coach or a teammate to approach you with truth?
Do It With Love
Let’s not be so truthful that we are unloving and not so loving that we are untruthful, but rather truthful in a loving way. It’s love that should motivate us to move toward the difficult conversation. It’s not really love that motivates us to run from the difficult conversation.
Conflict resolution is not easy, but it is essential for individuals and team to grow and reach their potential.
Is there someone on your team, in your circle of friends or in your family that you need to approach and have a courageous, honest, loving and humble conversation with?