Every leader dreams of having a cohesive team with employees who enjoy working together and can collaborate in a productive, innovative, and harmonious manner. Unfortunately, though, that’s just not possible all of the time. People have strong opinions and differing viewpoints. Sometimes personalities mesh, and sometimes they clash. And you cannot predict and avoid every tense situation or conflict.
So how can you use conscious leadership to turn a negative into a positive? How can you take a conflict and create an opportunity for growth, creativity, and innovation? Here are just a few tips to help you use conscious leadership techniques to relieve tension, create more positive outcomes and increase performance.
Use Your Emotional Intelligence to be a Calming Force
First of all, conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When two employees have different opinions on the proper solution for a problem, it’s likely that they both have some very good insights and ideas, especially if they are both willing to argue intensely about it.
The only way to turn a conflict into a collaboration, though, is to de-escalate and normalize the situation. By being emotionally intelligent, you can read the emotions of the people involved in the conflict. By listening to each side and coming to understand what emotions are driving them and why, you can be a calming and de-escalating force. Simply be acting as a mediator and listening to everyone involved, you may be able to get all parties to a place where they can actually hear each other and work on a collaboration and/or compromise.
Have the Difficult Conversations
What happens, then, when there’s a conflict in your team but none of the parties involved want to confront each other? This is just an awkward situation that will likely lead to a decrease in productivity and performance. Conscious leaders stay in close contact with their teams, so if you’re practicing conscious leadership you’ll notice when this “cold war” style, passive-aggressive conflict begins to emerge.
It’s up to you, in these situations to sit down with the parties involved in the conflict and confront the problem together. You may sit down with them individually at first to understand the situation as best you can, but in the end you’ll need to get everyone together and find a way to work things out by having the difficult conversations that everyone is avoiding.
Re-Organize Your Team
If you have valuable team members who simply cannot work directly with one another, you do not necessarily have to fire one or the other of them. You can find a way through organizational change to accommodate them both and give them both a more comfortable and free work environment. By doing this, you may notice improvements not only in their work but in the work of the rest of your team, as well, as everyone feels the relief of tension.
For more information on how to handle and even leverage conflict as a conscious leader, call Paradigm Shifters today at (+1) 415-702-0334. We look forward to helping you realize your full potential as a leader.