Conflict can be healthy for an organization if handled appropriately and effectively. It may even be necessary to keep an organization healthy.
Recently the staff at Grace Community Church talked through conflict and its benefit for us. Sometimes an organization can become too polite with each other and conflict is avoided or ignored in an effort to protect the relationship or to avoid the tension conflict creates. Other times one person tends to control a situation without allowing other people’s input, either for selfish reasons or to keep conflict from developing. The problem with these approaches is that some of the best ideas are never implemented because we don’t push through the messiness of conflict to get to the right answers.
If your organization needs to learn to use conflict for good, HERE is an assessment I would recommend to you. There are times for each of these approaches to conflict. Some issues are not worth the fight and other times the relationship is more important than risking the tension conflict can create, but many times the goal you are attempting to achieve and the relationship of the people on the team are both too important not to push through the conflict to get to the best answer. (Just so you know, in my experience, most people will score as a Collaborator, but as you talk through it, that may or may not be their first response to conflict.)
Just as in family relationships, organizational relationships involve conflict. Learning to handle them in a healthy way is one key to creating organizations that thrive.
How do you tend to handle/view conflict?
How does your organization/organization’s leader view conflict?
For some tips on handling conflict, see THIS POST.