Conflicts are inevitable and can be a good thing. When conflicts arise, leaders should try to resolve them in a purposeful way. But to do that, you first have to determine how you want to resolve conflicts.
A constructive conflict culture exists when there is an awareness that conflict is inevitable and is an indicator of structural problems.
Appreciation of the positive contribution of escalating conflicts is probably the first step towards a constructive conflict culture, in which the aim is neither to avoid upcoming conflicts nor to escalate them in a way that leads to serious damage to a participant. Establishing rules of the game allows conflicts to be worked through….
When leaders have been able to successfully deal with our differing perspectives, goals, values and relationships, we have managed a conflict constructively. In doing so, we have jointly succeeded in creating something new, a new way of experiencing and collaborating in which everyone can retain their individuality.
As an example and analogy: the enrichment of life through constructive conflict resolution can be observed particularly well in the family. “Growth” in living together comes about through solved conflicts.
When it comes to conflicts with people in the team who are not so close to us, it is important as a leader to pay attention to their power base and at the same time to actively participate in the relationship of trust. Transparency, attentiveness as well as exchange of experiences play a decisive role in this. Experience has shown that especially the quality of work and innovation grow in cultures where disputes are discussed more openly.
What “resolves” should not necessarily be the conflict – the very thing that makes us different.
When we have confidence in a constructive conflict culture, it releases the tension and stress associated with fear and aggression in conflict. This more relaxed attitude promotes well-being, joy in work and creativity in cooperation and joint action.