How we help teams work through Conflict

Welcome to the Leadership Vision Podcast, where we share our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a Strengths-Based approach to people, teams, and culture.

Today on the podcast, we’re talking about how we help teams work through Conflict. We start by establishing some basic definitions of Conflict then we talk about how we help people understand their own responses and reactions to it. We then discuss how a team can better manage conflict, and finally, what each individual person can do to create a culture of constructive conflict.

Team Conflict is probably the thing we’re asked to help with the most. Yes, Strengths is what we do, but inevitably, conflict shows up in the midst of all the work we do. We believe that conflict has the potential to do the greatest harm to a team, but also produce some of the greatest breakthroughs and innovations. But what exactly is conflict and how do you have more functional moments of conflict rather than it leading to dysfunction?

This episode is the third of four episodes where we’re discussing one of our Team Engagement Series. Brian and Linda Schubring are talking about our approach and philosophy for helping teams thrive. During this Team Engagement Podcast Series, we talk about Collaboration, Communication, Conflict, and Change. These four episodes can stand on their own but it will be helpful for you to listen to all of them to get a more complete understanding of how we incorporate these four topics.

Before we dive into the topic of Collaboration, it will be helpful to explain the Team Engagement Series process.

What Is A Team Engagement Series?

At Leadership Vision, a team engagement series consists of four, 90-minute sessions on a given topic. In addition to the Four C’s (which you’ll be learning about here over the next few weeks), we also have sessions on Knowledge, Purpose, and Trust, Emotional Health and Well-being, Courageous Leadership and Strengths-Based Team Development.

The Four C’s series was created when we found that teams who could CollaborateCommunicate, handle Conflict, and work through Change well together, seemed to be the most successful.

When we work with teams around these topics, sometimes they can be in a crisis situation, but most often we work on these competencies to better prepare a team to handle them when they inevitably do come up.

We also approach these sessions first from the perspective of the individual, then the team, and finally the overall culture. They weave together to create a cohesive approach to helping teams thrive in ever-changing environments.

Understanding Conflict

As with other sessions, we begin with a definition of the topic. One of the definitions that we’ve really come to embrace over the years around conflict is:

Conflict is a tension that invites a response.

Linda Schubring

Tension isn’t inherently bad. Depending on how each person views it, it could be wonderful and lead to better ideas, clearer thinking, and innovative ways to deliver more to your customers, clients, and consumers. But if you ignore the tension, it can lead down a dark road of despair with little hope of turning back.

We start by asking teams to wrestle with this and begin to understand their own definitions and comfortability with conflict. We also help define conflict by sharing four different types of conflict: emotional, relational, social, and personal conflict. We start here, with an individual understanding of what conflict means.

After we’ve spent a good deal of time helping participants understand their own triggers and responses to conflict, we make the turn to talk about this in the context of a team. What we’re trying to illustrate is that there may not be such a thing as how a team deals with conflict. Rather, it’s how each individual on the team deals with conflict. One of the most important things in this process is that a team begins to address how individuals respond to conflict first, and then a team can get to how they as a team are going to address conflict. This is when we can begin to arrive at constructive conflict.

About The Leadership Vision Podcast

The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherSpotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.

If you’d like to be featured on the Leadership Vision Podcast, let us know how you are using Strengths and what impact it has made. Contact us here!