How can that be? Because conflict can be a necessary evil, particularly while at work. The only thing worse than conflict is no conflict. Without conflict, productivity in the workplace can decrease and your competitive edge can falter. That’s right, it sometimes takes conflict to occur for coworkers to confront an issue, an issue that might not otherwise get resolved without it.
Conflict can sometimes strike fear in people, especially while at work but as long as it’s done in a respectable way and in a way that all parties involved know that it is in the best interest of the organization, workplace conflict can be good. Think about it, would you rather coworkers sugarcoat things just so people can be comfortable? Of course not, nothing would get done.
The need to stay away from being uncomfortable can take away from reaching the goal. That has to be made clear to all employees of the organization or risk not achieving the set goal. Most people view conflict as a problem but done constructively, conflict can actually mean that people care deeply about the success of the organization. It can also mean that people simply have different ways of communicating and have a variety of different personalities. When you have staff with such differences, communication with one another can come off as conflict.
Another reason conflict is necessary is that unresolved problems can quickly escalate into a bigger issues. However if the problem is resolved instantly, although you dealt with some conflict at first, it didn’t snowball into a bigger issue. If a problem goes unresolved simply because people want to avoid conflict then the company risks employees leaving their organization due to unresolved issues as well as the issue can erupt into a bigger issue for the company at some later point. It’s better to take the problem head on instead of letting the issue linger.
Using conflict as a tool, a tool to use as a pursuit of truth, can be one of the best decisions you and your organization can make. Engaging in conflict allows you to engage in a discussion to get vital information needed however engaging in conflict must be done constructively. In order to engage in conflict successfully you must:
· View the cooperation to engage in conflict as two people who are searching for a solution that meets the needs of both.
· View the belief that conflict can present a chance for constructive change.
· View the conflict as an opportunity to provide a win-win method for both parties.
One of the biggest factors that affect whether conflict is good or bad is if it’s done at a reputable company, where people respect one another or in a dysfunctional one. Only in the former environment can conflict really thrive to the benefit of the organization. Where people’s opinions matter and conflict is really just a tool to resolve differences of opinions. Interestingly, the most powerful companies tend to have the most arguments. This shows employees care and that they are fully engaged in their work. Without conflict, the organization simply cannot be as competitive.
Conflict, which is typically viewed in a negative light, actually has some added benefits that people are usually unaware of. Some of these benefits include:
· Conflict opens minds to new ideas
· Conflict supports new lines of thinking
· Conflicts inspires change
· Conflict can strengthen relationships through mutual understanding
· And more importantly, Conflict raises questions about the way things are done
As you can see, avoiding conflict can actually be negative for your organization and promote stagnation. While engaging in conflict can be a great way to discuss new ideas, raise questions and question the norm. Don’t shy away from conflict, instead engage in and enjoy the results that are likely to occur from them.
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