Conflict makes better leaders. Conflict is a force that unconsciously motivates or paralyzes us. Yet, conflict is a powerful force that isn’t only negative but has the potential to generate movement, deepen relationships, and spark creative thinking, growth, and innovation. As an inspirational leadership speaker, I understand all great relationships require productive, passionate conflict to grow – marriage, parenthood, friendship, and business. Healthy open dialog over ideas and issues is a timesaver – if not, you revisit issues.
Conflict can be uncomfortable and awkward. Bringing a negative word or critique to someone is a painful process for both parties. But a leader who leads from the head and the heart is not afraid of it. They don’t invite it or create it unnecessarily. Still, a strong leader has the skills to navigate the encounter and knows how to leverage conflict to grow the individual and improve the work environment.
In Part 1, I covered Communication and Comfort Zones, and in this blog, I’ll finish with Common Ground and a Connected Team.
Common ground, the other side of a conflict, is where the magic happens. If a leader can navigate through conflict by listening to understand and consider different perspectives, most likely common ground will be discovered. It might result from compromise or agreeing to disagree agreeably, but hopefully, at the root of that understanding comes mutual respect. A great leader is in a relationship with many people with differing perspectives on many issues. Connecting over common ground and not having an adversarial view of the places you disagree with will allow the relationship to teach and develop you.
If conflict is handled with proper skills and tools rather than avoided, or worse, with harsh words and ridicule, the result will be a connected team and mutual respect. Because unique, interesting different individuals make up each team, every unit is made up of unique and differing perspectives. Differences are the strength of a great team. These differences can be leveraged to learn new ideas and perspectives that elevate team performance instead of letting what’s different separate the group. Of course, there must be a commitment to adhering to healthy conflict resolution guidelines and practicing them, but a connected team will shine when they are.
If conflict makes you cringe and run for the hills, contact us at Tom Flick Communications, where we believe positive conflict makes better leaders and teams. I’ll share and discuss new ways of incorporating healthier communication skills within your team to better navigate and lead change. As an inspirational speaker, I address large groups, facilitate workshops, or meet for one-on-one coaching. Still, today is a great day to learn how to engage in conflict to benefit your life and your team.