Many leaders find it uncomfortable to engage with conflict. Some want to please people rather than disappoint or upset them. Others are not comfortable in situations that feel stressful or tense.
A leader who is personally comfortable may not understand why others are uncomfortable or why they would choose to avoid or ignore conflict.
How a leader addresses and engages with conflict and difficult issues sets a tone for how employees and colleagues will respond. This blog post addresses the importance of surfacing conflict and differing views, particularly in times of change. The more complex the change, the more essential this becomes. People’s willingness to engage with conflict reflects their prior experience with the risks of speaking up.
People in organizations have as many views as they have vantage points on the work, given their expertise, roles, responsibilities, accountabilities, and experiences. Differences are natural and inevitable. This multiplicity of perspectives and expertise can strengthen the outcomes if they are discussed and thought about effectively.