No one loves conflict and confrontation. We all want to be liked and accepted, and very few of us enjoy hurting people’s feelings.
Unfortunately, as leaders, we must be able to handle conflict or we’re not doing our job. We need to be able to hold tough and productive conversations with others, and address conflicts that arise inside the organization.
As business gets more and more complex, ever-more-difficult situations arise. In some cases it can feel like all leaders do all day long is solve problems. If we don’t get on top of them right away, small issues will turn into big issues. They will snowball until they poison every corner of our culture.
At a time when unemployment is at record lows, competition is fierce, and consumers have endless choices, a strong, healthy culture is a must. You want to attract the very best people and work with the best vendors. This depends on your ability to create and maintain healthy, productive relationships—and conflict resolution is a cornerstone of that skill.
Here are just a few examples of how problems inside a company expand when leaders perpetually avoid conflict:
- Unresolved conflicts lead to communication breakdowns. This harms teamwork and collaboration, and, before you know it, productivity and innovation begin to suffer.
- Big, important decisions are delayed or not made at all. Unfortunately, with most decisions, someone will be unhappy. But when ...