Three Reasons Leaders Mismanage Conflict | Part 2

Conflict avoidance stems from believing conflict is a problem. But conflict is not a problem. Mismanagement is the problem. This is the second of three installments that identify 3 common reasons leaders mismanage conflict, and how to make the shift. Last week we identified the first reason; invisible forces. The second reason for mismanaged conflict is due to coping behaviors.

Coping Behaviors
Note the times a department has reorganized due to the inability to address team conflict. Count the times a new manager was hired to fix a high conflict department rather than supporting the current leader to deal with departmental drama.

How many notices are given because someone can’t get along with their supervisor? Determine how much time and money was invested in hiring consultants to facilitate 360 feedback to justify termination. All of these activities relate to coping behaviors of avoiding, appeasing and aggression.

How to make the shift: Connect the dots between coping behaviors and the costly mistakes that affect retention and job satisfaction. Once you make the business case for the losses, build a plan and a budget for developing leaders at every level to increase conflict capacity so that they have the skills and confidence to initiate conversations that get results.

Avoiding conversations leads to a culture of avoidance. Take this easy assessment to see if you have a culture of avoidance.

Reach out if I can offer some guidance or support.

Marlene Chism