Table of Contents
In previous articles, I have introduced Become a successful leader (10) – Imposter Syndrome and Team Dynamics and Become a successful leader (9) – Complexity of Teams. The Spectrum of Conflict is a crucial concept in leadership development that helps individuals understand the different types of conflict and how to manage them effectively. This article will explore the key ideas in conflict occurrence and handling.
Before we discuss conflicts, we need to know how our brains work. Usually, our brains detect negative information much faster than positive information.
What is conflict?
Conflict is an indicator of necessary change, which can be overt or hidden. Hidden conflict is much more dangerous than overt conflict because it is often not dealt with. Leaders must be aware of both types of conflict and learn how to manage them effectively.
Higher self-esteem, less conflict
Self-esteem is our internal center of power, but most people are raised to think of external power. Conflicts usually happen when we are trying to control what is external to us; however, it is impossible to control what happens to us. Instead, we could only control our reaction to these external factors. Therefore, the higher our self-esteem, the less our tendency for conflict – we already have all the power inside ourselves. This means that leaders must build their self-esteem and confidence to reduce their tendency for conflict.
Five conflict modes
There are five conflict modes: competing, collaborating, compromising, accommodating, and avoiding. Each mode has its own strengths and weaknesses, and leaders must learn when to use each mode depending on the situation.
To de-escalate conflict, you must switch to observer mode, build empathy, and start a dialogue. This means that leaders must be able to step back from a situation and observe it objectively before taking action. They must also be able to understand other people’s perspectives and communicate effectively with them.
Leaders are role models: if the leader is confrontational and divisive, there is going to be a great deal of dysfunctional conflict. Therefore, leaders must model positive behavior by being collaborative, empathetic, and open-minded.
In conclusion, The Spectrum of Conflict is essential for anyone who wants to become a better leader. By understanding the different types of conflict and learning how to manage them effectively, leaders can create a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and respected.