Conflict results when people with varying viewpoints, cultures, experiences and agendas attempt to connect or co-operate in a relationship, a venture or even a common cause of great importance.
CONFLICT is simply a bi-product of the interaction and connection between people. Handling it effectively is a part of the leadership process!
Conflict left ‘unresolved,’ can tear organizations and teams apart. It can destroy friendships and relationships built over long periods of time.
Conflict has some ‘positive’ benefits too!
However, to gain these positive benefits one needs to deal effectively with the conflict. It takes work to find resolution that promotes and proceeds positive growth and productive change.
Conflict is too often viewed as something groups should avoid. When we normally think of conflict, we visualize people arguing, fighting, name-calling, and/or stress and tension.
Conflict can start with a simple misunderstanding or lack of clarity in our communication. As leaders, when we take the time to speak their language, we reduce the potential for conflict.
Although conflict can be produced in negative ways, there are many positive benefits creative conflict can produce for groups. To earn these ‘benefits,’ a group must be ready to face creative conflict squarely. Our purpose here is to outline how groups can benefit from creative conflict by identifying key conflicts early and avoiding some common pitfalls in discussion.
Benefits of creative conflict
Dealing openly with group conflict has a number of ‘positive’ and healthy benefits for the team and its members: Improve the group’s solution
Conflict can help the group produce ‘better answers’ because conflict can force groups to confront possible defects or challenges in a solution. Conflict can help group members analyze the specifics of any group’s goals, procedures, and solutions to ensure that the best choice for the group is selected.
An absence of conflict in a group decision-making process might be the result of ‘group think.’ This ‘group think’ pitfall has destroyed the creativity, innovation and progress of more groups, companies and organizations than you could imagine. By allowing creative conflict to enter a group decision-making process, the group is more likely to analyze the potential solutions to help in choosing the best solution for the group’s needs.