Conflict is an unambiguous part of everyday life. Bracing oneself against it doesn’t always promise to make it go away. On the other hand, by approaching it consciously, one can not only steer through it in a way that honors everyone involved, but also discover deep insights during the blithesome journey. Similarly, conflict is a definite part of the workplace, and conflict resolution a hundred times more emphatic one. It can catapult or upset a fraction of an ecosystem, or even entirely, resulting into a toxic workplace, where conflicts are left to rot in more filth when not confronted head-on. For a leader, conflict resolution is a rather tricky subject that requires wisdom and compassion, especially when they are not acquainted with a larger ecosystem in which the source of conflict operates. Worse comes to worst, it turns into a brainless popcorn fare of guerilla tactics and accusations that echo through the ecosystem when the leader makes efforts to settle the conflict. The work environment is a cluster of synchronous agendas, that one never knows, which may be affected when you resolve conflict exclusively to profit and advance your own. Leadership primarily involves cultivating and maneuvering the full potential of people, the team, and the organization in general. An important part in the process of cultivating potential is sensing the rise of a conflict and knowing when to take a leap to resolve it before healthy tension mutates into a troublesome mess. Leaders today prefer to keep away from chaos to create a hollow-but-beautiful appearance of harmony. What they fail to grasp is that by ducking conflict, they are unconsciously creating unnecessary silos, and stimulate ruptures amongst employees. A leader is someone who is expected to neutralize or curtail conflict, and not tolerate it until it grows and runs widespread. In their attempt to maintain peace and harmony at workplace by constantly ducking it, leaders often create an artificial and deceitful ecosystem. It is applicable in other aspects of life too, when one is more concerned about being liked, they constantly keep away from negative reputation, or situations that may reveal their vulnerabilities. Different types of people deal with conflicts in different ways. There are those who can work through conflict, and then there are those who are too vain, afraid or overwhelmed by their own insecurities to acknowledge the existence of a conflict. There are many ways to create and support a workplace ecosystem, where employee engagement results in healthy outcomes. A leader must recognize which one works best for the organization, and steer through it in times of troubles.
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry
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