Mind Refactor
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Mind Refactor

Leadership Is Not About Assigning Tasks Only. What About Conflict Resolution?

Besides, this skill helps leaders out there drastically improve the work environment too.

two people in the eye of a conflict
Image by mohamed_hassan @ Pixabay

I first witnessed great leadership back in high school. We were a class of boys and girls who had just started stepping into the world of young adulthood. As you may have already guessed correctly, we were fighting a lot.
The high school environment is perhaps the field where we first discover who we are. Not only that. In those years, we begin to feel the need to stand our ground for the first time in our lives. It certainly rarely goes smoothly. Imagine having a classroom full of individuals who have a lot to share and a lot to quarrel about. We definitely desperately needed a leader who could gracefully set boundaries and preserve a positive environment.
Thank god we had this great teacher who was a master of conflict resolution. Without her, my high school years wouldn’t have been so great in terms of education, growth, and personal development.

I realized how important skill conflict resolution was

Certainly, I managed to learn a lot in high school, but to this day, I’m more than happy about the fact that I had the chance to witness conflict resolution in action. I believe it’s one of the most important skill assets for leadership. I simply could not imagine leading my team today if I didn’t realize the importance of a positive work environment.
Because really, you can be the best leader out there when it comes to task distribution, but if you lack the ability to solve problems and resolve conflicts, then you’ll most certainly have a bad time! And so will your team.

Nowadays, people feel freer and freer to express their own individuality. This definitely directs to a hypothetically more uptight environment since everyone would feel free to stand their ground at all costs. On the other hand, now we cherish the positive work atmosphere more than ever. Every leader must certainly try to find a way in which to combine both aspects of leadership supporting their team at all costs while, at the same time, being great at the resolution of conflicts and problem-solving.

A lot of employees actually do share that they greatly cherish the positive work environment. Then again, they also share they find it important to be able to openly share thoughts, opinions, and points of view. All of this is great. In fact, it is surreally wonderful! But imagine having two team members who clash over certain topics or ideas: a quarrel would most certainly ruin everyone’s mood and work capabilities.

Heck, I’m the living proof of this. I’ve never found it bearable to work in a negative environment!

But what can you actually do if you want to get better at conflict resolution?

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Look, I’m more than certain that most readers agree with what’s been said above. I highly doubt there’s anyone out there who thrives on scandal and negative relationships (people like those exist, but I don’t think they’ll remain for long in any team!).

So let’s get down to what you actually can do in reality when a conflict emerges in your team. You know there’s always room for improvement. Who knows, perhaps I will be able to present to you a smart approach to problem-solving. I’d be happy if you shared your methods as well in the comment section.

Things you can do to prevent a conflict from happening

  • At the very beginning, state what’s appropriate and what’s not
    When hiring a new addition to the team, make sure you explain what behaviour is not tolerated; the majority of people will take this very seriously and stop themselves from falling into a negative pattern of behaving.
  • Don’t show preferences
    You must be an equal leader to everyone, so avoid showing favouring certain individuals.
  • Be clear and punctual about assigning tasks and duties
    Make sure you’ve distributed the right tasks to the right people.
  • Make sure everyone has the same deadline time-wise
    This again goes to not treating people differently.
  • Always be open to communication
    You’d be surprised to know that often conflicts get dissolved once people have the chance to talk to someone and let the steam go.

Once a conflict has arisen, here’s what you can do to resolve it quickly

  • Inform yourself about what the problem is all about asap
    Nothing ignites additional pressure than a leader’s apathy.
  • Do not take sides
    A huge mistake would be if you took sides in any conflict (except if we are talking abuse of some sort. Then you should get to the bottom of the subject and discover who the aggressor is).
  • Conduct a meeting to discuss the matter
    Good and open communication is key.
  • By active listening, try your best to get each participant’s point of view and offer everyone some useful advice
    Sometimes people need it.
  • Let your team members take the day off
    Sometimes getting some rest can do wonders.

To wrap things up

Conflicts are unpleasant but, at the same time, inevitable.
Instead of dreading them, try to come up with a plan in advance — this way, you’ll be able to act quickly and adequately as a leader once a problem occurs. Don’t forget that part of the reason why your employees trust you and express respect is that they expect you’d be always there for them, even in hard times. Especially in hard times. Aim at upgrading your conflict resolution skills so that you can easily deal with any arising negative matter in the team.

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Ivan Popov

Ivan Popov

i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of vipe studio. still running marathons though.