Inter or interdepartmental, differences in perspectives give rise to conflicts. Conflict is one of the greatest challenges for HR and team management in general. Perhaps the problem is that we do not approach the conflict from the right perspective.
Is the conflict a problem?
We asked some colleagues about their perspective on the conflict in 2018, including Ane-Marie (29), Marketing Specialist.
"There is too much talk about the negative effects of conflicts and not at all or very rarely about his good parts. A conflict does not involve seeking a guilty person or accusing a person, as we often understand. On the contrary, it may mean enriching knowledge and developing emotional intelligence. It's all about how we perceive the conflict, "she replied.
People like Ane-Marie have constructive, result-oriented thinking. Of course, it belongs to the Y generation, being accustomed to a variety of views and approaches from an early age.
A similar approach is also Cristiana (27 years), Key Account Manager at our company.
"Regardless of the nature of the conflict, inter or inter-departmental, I try to address the situation with the idea that we have a common goal and do our best to understand the other side that solving the problem will help us achieve it. Usually, if I understand, the conflict is attenuated. It is clear that the departments that manage to gather people around the same values, to make them believe in the same vision, are much easier to overcome conflicts. I think that's how the man on the Moon came.
It is said that JFK while visiting NASA, stopped at a man with a mop in his hand and asked what he was doing. His answer was: "Help send a man to the moon."
Both perspectives have a common essence - the goal of reaching the best solution. Ane-Marie points out the educational nature of the conflict, while Cristiana talks about the importance of team spirit built on the same values.
Within our company, the major source of conflict is simple: communication is based on different perceptions. After solving the problems, we often realize that the desired outcome was, in fact, the same, only that the parties involved simply did not reach the point where they could discuss openly.
What can we gain from a conflict
Conflict increases flexibility
Darwin's Law says that only those who are adapting survive. This recognition is very important for today's businesses because major changes are becoming more and more common. Conflict forces us to get out of the comfort zone and to be more flexible, thus more adaptive.
Conflict increases communication skills
Studies show that those with well-developed communication skills are more successful. In an era where public speaking is almost a necessity for an attractive resume, conflict helps us communicate our ideas more clearly and intelligibly.
Conflict contributes to innovation
Theoretically, the more individuals involved are, the higher the chances of conflict, but at the same time, this diversity is also a source of innovation. Conflict is a meeting platform for different perceptions and ideas, thus becoming a "fertile soil for innovation".
Conflict increases empathy
There are more and more articles about the importance of empathy in business. The basis of empathy is the ability to put yourself in the skin of the interlocutor. For this, it is important to know how to listen actively. Active listening refers not only to a simple silence while the interlocutor speaks, but to the internalization of the information received and its filtering through the own knowledge baggage accumulated.
The conflict teaches control and professionalism
People who learn to approach the corresponding conflict have greater control over their own emotions, so they can leave more room for reason. The higher the rational level at the expense of the emotion-based decision, the higher the level of professionalism. In order to ensure the optimal solution, ideas need to be evaluated, not people.
Most people associate conflict with a negative issue, but a change in perspective can bring measurable benefits to companies. It is the responsibility of leaders to realize the benefits of conflicting situations and moderate them accordingly, and each leader has the team he deserves. It is their responsibility to maintain an open perspective, even on the conflict.