It’s almost impossible to avoid conflict in any executive team. Differing personalities, viewpoints, experiences and skills make a team stronger—but can also create an atmosphere where conflict can occur. While disagreement itself is not necessarily bad, leaving issues unresolved can create tension, which can tear a team apart.
To prevent disruptive conflict in your organization, it’s important to take steps early to resolve issues.
Acknowledge the Problem: Before any solution can be offered, everyone on the team needs to accept that there’s a conflict. Bottling up feelings or ignoring the changing team dynamics might work in the short-term, but will almost always lead to explosive arguments later.
Consider Every Viewpoint - In order to resolve tension arising from conflict, everyone on the team needs to be heard. Ensure each member affected has an opportunity to speak and clarify their positions.
Reach an Agreement - When all facts and viewpoints have been considered, the team—or leader—needs to arrive at a solution. These steps and actions should address the issues the team is facing and be clearly communicated.
The worst thing to do when conflict arises in an executive team is to ignore the problem. This approach will likely lead to growing resentment and frustration and can cause a drastic drop in morale and productivity.
To keep your executive team on track, ensure that leaders are equipped with the right skills and behaviors to de-escalate conflict. Having a high level of emotional intelligence and good communication skills can go a long way in relieving group tension.
Envision Global Leadership offers objective and validated Leadership MultiRater assessments that identify strengths and leadership derailers. Our software can be used for individual use or company-wide to make strategic decisions about development resources.
Jeff Evans, PhD has used his decades of experience in executive coaching and organizational development to create our Leadership MultiRater assessment, which helps organizations objectively measure leadership qualities of their team.