In any organization conflicts occur which consumes a considerable amount of time for managers and leaders to minimize and resolve conflict in order to keep the team focused on the primary objectives of the organization. When you have a team spending more time on resolving internal conflicts less time is spent on focused growth activities which only contributes to even greater conflict. Some of the causes that create conflict in an organization are: Ego’s, people are driven by their own interest. Everyone has their own idea of what is their best approach or solution, we all know those people right.
People are protective of their own domain. People fear change which translates into losing control of their domain. Not accepting responsibility for mistakes and wanting all the credit glory and recognition. As a leader, you can talk all day long to your team about taking responsibility be a team player get along with others. Unfortunately, talking is just noise that literally goes in one ear and out the other talking is not a solution. It doesn’t create lasting results which is why many leaders find themselves talking about the same thing over and over. See what is needed is a structure that supports team building open communication and alignment around the primary objective of the organization or department. Here are three effective team building tips that you can implement today to minimize conflict and support a team atmosphere.
Number one, #1 identify and focus on the goal not the person or the department. When issues arise there is a natural tendency to focus on the department or the person, this does nothing for the organization and only creates more domain building where people become defensive and protective of their position and work environment. When this occurs open and honest communication is lost which is critical to team building and for growth. When you focus on the goal or desired outcome it’s not personal and you create an environment where people feel comfortable safe and they’re willing to share their ideas and thoughts to support the team objective.
Number two, #2 communicate as a team regularly. When teams don’t communicate regularly around an objective, rogue thoughts and ideas develop creating more individual or group domains as a leader. Create a structure of regular team communication meetings to bring the team together and create alignment with the team and the objectives so everyone is on the same page and informed. As leader, you can head off any issues before they develop into bigger concerns. And based upon the size and complexity of the goal or the objectives you can determine the frequency of the meetings.
I suggest at minimum a weekly update meeting under 30 minutes to maintain team communication. Followed with a bi-weekly or monthly meeting for more in-depth discussion some teams conduct a ten minute daily huddle followed by a weekly 30 to 60 minute meeting. The important thing to remember it’s about maintaining effective and consistent communication around the goal or the objective. Don’t let the meetings get off topic as it only creates resentment for the meetings and it’s viewed as “just another meeting” and who wants to go to just another meeting right. Nobody likes to attend meetings. Because half of them are boring useless and they get off topic. So keep it on topic.
#3 Number three share the responsibility and opportunity to grow. A team is a team and works best when the responsibility is shared. In any team environment you will have individuals with stronger personalities. Now, these people can easily be viewed by others as the ones that get all the attention, all the opportunities, and recognition which triggers a negative attitude toward the individual and the leader for allowing that to happen. So, to create an environment that allows your emerging leaders to develop select a different member of the team to chair and lead each meeting. See this creates shared responsibility and requires everyone to be engaged and provides a structure that supports leadership growth for all the individuals on the team and as a leader the best part, is you’ll have an opportunity to see people in a different light and identify leaders that you may have not noticed before. See effective leadership is about being able to bring the team together and in alignment so that the team can achieve great things. Conflict is a symptom of weak leadership and a lack of focus on the organization’s most important objectives.
Follow these 3 tips and you’ll minimize conflict, increase communication, build a more effective team, and become a better leader.