10 Ways Leaders Can Minimize Conflict

October 3, 2019

Interaction is part of life. Diversity of personality is great for progressive development, but also is a point of regression.

Effective decisions are the optimal result of people with different approaches. But at the same time, the best idea is sentenced to failure when it is implemented by people who can’t stop bickering.

It is unlikely that any leader has never faced the challenge of keeping the team together.

So how can you minimize conflict?

1. Let it Be

Suppressing emotion and trying to avoid conflict entirely will not help. Emotions cannot always just disappear by themselves. Eventually, bottling up will lead to worse outcomes and heightened conflict.

So, letting the conflicts happen will help you kill two birds with one stone:

  • Minimize destructive influence from the conflict
  • Help create an environment where people can air concerns, and prevent urgent organizational crises.

2. Reshape the Idea of Conflict

It is normal to perceive conflict as ultimately harmful. It is often a substantial precursor for learning how to handle different issues.

Once you become aware of this, you will see the need for promoting self-expression among the team, even when their thoughts might seem wrong.

Along with this, emphasizing the importance of listening is also key. You will then be able to provide the basis for constructive feedback and co operation.

 3. Define the Rules for Conflict

Many organizations pay significant attention to developing corporate culture, but often ignore the nature of conflict.

When you dare to reshape your perception of conflict, you will see the urgent need for rules.

Here you can involve different kinds of bans depending on your personal vision and the staff’s characteristics.

It is obligatory to prohibit brutality, foul language, and personal insults. By the way, you can involve your employees in this process.

Discussion with your team members will bring you to a better understanding of each individual’s needs.

4. Describe Organizational Roles

Each person in your organization should know their role and their area of responsibility.  

From one side it is the core factor for maintaining discipline in sharing duties. And from the other, it is about knowing everyone’s boundaries.

5. Restructure Roles from Time to Time

Sometimes people assigned to a particular post show that they are more capable elsewhere.

Gone unnoticed, this person will be limited in professional performance, and will be stressed due to unrealized ambitions.

Being able to encourage team members to speak up and asking about their thoughts regularly can help minimize potential conflict in this area. So it would be wise to re organize roles as necessary.

6. Practice Role Exchange

Sometimes, people think the grass is greener on the other side.

Executives thinks that it is easier to assign than to do. Some managers think completing the task is simpler than to control multiple processes, and so on.

Let people try out different tasks and roles from time to time. This chance being taken will help them identify potential aspects of conflict. Such an approach can also help with recognizing mistakes and promoting more co operation.

7. Consider and Handle Interpersonal Antagonisms

People are not robots. Emotions often guide the mind.

There are cases when the lead manager and CEO are incompatible. Speaking the same language, both being excellent professionals, experiencing ideal interaction with the rest of the staff. Yet they treat each other as foreigners.

No one intricate measure would help you to make them coordinate successfully. Sometimes, the only way to change such a relationship would be to minimize their communication.

8. Enhancing Self-Worth

Each person could work with inspiration and devotion in the most crisis moments if she or he knows they are meaningful.

Moreover, people with a high level of self-worth perceive critique and remarks more subtle and think in a more constructive manner.

Authoritativeness, dominance, and depreciation, which are often inherent to top management, underlies the hostility regardless of the objectiveness of commands.

Be sure, the members of Board enhance the SEO’s self-worth instead of depreciation staff’s personal achievements.

9. Develop Empathetic Listening

Misunderstanding is ground for rejection and conflict, while not listening is the precursor for misunderstanding. There is a difference between ‘hearing’ and ‘empathetic listening’.

Both leaders and team members should be able to understand the information and its context. The point is that people often hear what they want to hear.

So overcoming this barrier is the key to working in sync with each other.

10. Don’t Ignore the WIIFM Factor

It does not matter to what extent we are different, we often ask ourselves, “What’s In It For Me?”.

Challenge your board with the task to be informed about aspirations and ambitions. Be sure, this knowledge will shape their way of interaction with the staff.

Knowing what their team members want to hear and what they need to be motivated will add value.

How Can Leaders Minimize Conflict?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Brooke Collits
Brooke Collits
I would describe myself as someone who is honest, caring, intelligent, hardworking, and ambitious. I work as GSDiamonds' blog editor. I have a great sense of humour. I am an easy going person & don’t get easily disturbed by down’s in my life. I am fun loving, down to earth and very much Optimist. I love travelling, sightseeing, listening to rock music, reading all the latest fiction novels.
  • Kate Keaney says:

    A great read, thank you. Conflict is inevitable, especially in a high-stress environment like the workplace. Rather than looking at trying to achieve the impossible and getting rid of conflict altogether, this article suggests excellent ways to reduce the frequency of conflict, such as open discussions between employees to establish boundaries. Often leaders land in this role through hard work and doing well in their previous role – leading others is not an easy job and therefore I believe that organisations should ensure that leadership training or coaching is available to their leaders so they can learn how to deal better with conflict in the workplace.

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