Labeling the conflict
One minute and counting:
Welcome to week four. I hope that there has been some progress setting in with your mindset of how to address conflict with less dread. We hate that which we fear, and conflict is often more feared than it needs to be.
One of the most important principles in confronting conflict, is how we label it.
Many conflicts are not personal at all, but quickly become so, due to false labels.
Consider the following, “Wow. Sandra didn’t even follow any of the instructions I was giving her. She must disrespect me as a leader. Sandra has a problem with me. Sandra is now a problem.”
Now Sandra could very well disrespect you. But how quickly was that problem labeled without the proper information and research?
According to the Harvard Business Review there are four types of conflict:
– Relationship: a personal disagreement
– Task: disagreement over what the goal is
– Process: disagreement on the means of process to achieve the goal
– Status: disagreement over your standing in a group
Now as we experience each weekly challenge, some may be a bit more difficult than others. But this one can be tricky. It requires the forethought in all your confrontations to label it. We live in a society that is often offended by labels; however, conflict requires labeling.
So this week’s challenge: Label your conflicts before they label you.
The last thing you want is something to become personal when it’s not. It shows not only a lack of professionalism, but a lack of leadership maturity. Look beyond the moments of annoyance and truly identify and label the conflict. It may seem personal in the moment, but take care that conflict doesn’t become personal unless it absolutely needs to be.
There are a multitude of great sources for information on conflict resolution. We have chosen to use, as a principle source for the next few weeks, the superb work by Amy Gallo, Managing Conflicts at Work, published by Harvard Business Review.