Even the best-run companies with the most employee-friendly environments experience some conflict. Conflict is inevitable, and it may even be a necessary component of effective human interaction. Despite the negative connotation, it may hold for some of us, conflict definitely has its benefits.
When it’s managed properly, conflict draws out diverse ideas. When people are comfortable expressing and listening to differing opinions, it leads to better team relationships. These ideas and relationships can also lead to increased innovation as well as higher productivity and greater profits for the business.
CMOE helps leaders learn how to effectively manage the conflicts and differences that arise as team members perform their work and interact with the people around them. A clash of conflicting ideas can be turned into a positive phenomenon that leads to creative, win-win solutions by learning a few practical skills.
When conflict isn’t managed well, it can be destructive to the business in many ways. The conflict may be a harmful distraction, taking attention away from important tasks, safety, quality, and teamwork. It can destroy the self-esteem of individuals and lead to emotional confrontations and personal attacks. It can also escalate into unnecessary competitiveness and anger that can polarize the opinions and attitudes of group members.
There are many ways to deal with conflict, but business problems that call for a truly innovative solution require a collaborative approach. True collaboration is the result of a deliberate process, and it isn’t always simple or quick. When leaders have the skills and patience to master the art of collaboration, they gain the ability to guide others and achieve an innovative, mutually beneficial outcome.
Collaboration – The Key to Success
A collaborative solution allows everyone involved to achieve more synergy than they could have imagined when viewing the problem alone. This approach requires significant trust, candor, and creativity. The leader helps to open a dialogue about important issues and encourage communication among team members. This leads to greater clarification, better understanding, and more productive relationships.
All parties involved must recognize the abilities, expertise, and perspective of the other parties involved. When trying to find a solution, the emphasis must be on trying to solve the problem at hand rather than defending a particular position. And as the understanding of the issue and the dialogue of the group progresses, everyone must also be fully prepared to modify his or her original views.
Ultimately, when group dialogue is facilitated well, the best thinking will emerge and the whole of the group effort will exceed the sum of the individuals’ contributions. Organizations that need to be competitive in the future will depend on people at all levels to collaborate in order to create new, innovative products and services for customers.
Today’s ever-changing, global business environment means that it is no longer possible for just a few smart people in key positions to have all the wisdom and power to make things happen. Leaders must know how to encourage all members of the organization to be proactive, influence others, resolve differences, and create innovative solutions without using force or relying on formal authority.
Contact us at CMOE to learn more about how to master the skills required to draw out new products, processes, and innovative ideas from people with different skill sets and backgrounds. Sooner or later, you will be called upon to help gain buy-in, support, and the resources needed to perform your work. By learning to build true collaboration today, you will help your business succeed tomorrow.