5 practical problem-solving tips for managing internal conflict
Internal conflict doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad experience. If you’ve ever worked in a diverse team with a mixture of opinions, experiences and preferences, you’ll be familiar with how challenging it can be to work towards a common goal when you’re coming from entirely different perspectives. However, this range of perspectives can be a bountiful place of opportunity when it comes to navigating market challenges. When we think differently, we stand to benefit from a robust approach to ever-changing conditions, rather than relying on the status quo that may always result in the same outcome.
If we accept that internal conflict is a normal part of teamwork within evolving challenges, we can arm ourselves with tools that change the experience of conflict from a negative into a positive for all involved. Build your toolkit as a leader so that you can navigate your team through conflict to resolution.
1. Clarify the conflict itself
The first step in resolving any conflict? Clarifying exactly what it is that’s in conflict. By defining the cause of the conflict, any miscommunication around the conflict itself can be clarified, saving valuable time and heartache. This builds a foundation for mutual understanding, bringing all parties into agreement around one key issue as a starting block.
2. Build an environment where open communication is valued
If your employees don’t feel like they can contribute honestly at work, they’re not going to be able to advocate openly during moments of conflict. By building a long-term approach to honest communication, you can enhance the value of communication in moments of pressure or disagreement.
3. Identify avenues to meet a shared goal
A common objective is key to any kind of conflict resolution. You can invite all members of the conflict into a brainstorming space in looking for solutions to the issue at hand. This is a proactive approach that enables all team members to feel heard and valued, recognising their ability to contribute to solutions.
4. Agree on a shared solution
Once a resolution has been identified, it’s important that all parties have mutual buy-in to the agreed outcome. This allows for an allocation of tasks to ensure that outcome is realised. It also enables active teamwork opportunities, bringing those who were previously in conflict into a shared commitment around achieving key outcomes.
5. Look for preventative strategies
What can you learn from how this conflict arose? By analysing the experience, you can build in preventative strategies that can help to minimise unnecessary future conflicts. Every experience offers us opportunities for growth and learning, with even negative experiences contributing to future positive outcomes if we apply the learnings that result from them.
Ultimately, navigating conflict requires a shared understanding as a team and a strong sense of mutual collaboration. Increase your team’s connection to each other and trust in the greater unit through the Kayaking virtual adventure. Navigate the Okavango River System in Northern Botswana, working together as a team to balance competing priorities under pressure. The best way to prepare for internal conflict is to build your team’s capacities, so book a tour today – this virtual adventure sets you up for ongoing success through increased interconnectivity, communication and strategic problem-solving experiences.