Conflict is not a simple topic to discuss or be part of; however, it is inevitable, and one way or another, you will or have been involved in a conflict at work. It is not a big deal; on the contrary, it is a big part of life at work. It’s good sometimes you get some of the best results out of conflict. In almost two years of my fellowship, I have learned a lot and messed up a lot; hopefully, my lessons will show you how to get through the process with ease.
Let me ask Siri to define conflict “a conflict is a clash of interest, the basis of interest may vary but is always a part of society.” There is high-level, moderate-level, and low-level conflict. I will touch lightly on each of them and help you understand why conflict is a number one reason why your fellowship may, at the worst, all go to waste or be the best time as mine has.
Since day one, there are certain things people around me said or did that made me feel good, but at times, we disagreed enough that it was time for a split, and it’s scary because so many things can happen there’s so much knowledge after months or weeks running. Today I sit back with my teammates, and we laugh about it. It took a lot of work internally and syncing to make sure we got to our current state.
You know, part of the aftermath of that was, in a way, less conflict because, as a team, we agreed more than disagreeing. We remained focused on the bigger goal to date; we may disagree. Still, I think the critical part of the conflict is a massive part of being able to resolve the bumps in the road is getting to the shared set of values that fundamentally hold up what you’re proposing; you can agree on those values. It helps to resolve the issues that Take a step back and be like OK.
I am passionate about technology and education training, a value I share with most team members. We are always trying to get in the same direction through our deliverables because the content is precious to us, and we care about it. These values have kept our paths crossing each time we go parallel.
High-level conflict can result in projects failing, people getting fired, and even a whole system going down. Medium-level conflict is probably the most frequent type of conflict where you have enormously different opinions about how you should do things or processes. For example, some people are visionaries others are data-driven. I like to use both, and it is tough to find a balance in big projects; in the long run, you have those moments where some want to go right, others left. But, eventually, you realize that you have one thing both of you are fundamentally passionate about: voila or light moment; it is what you needed to get past your differences.
Other instances are when vital decisions are made, for example, the design of a product, and as a team, you sit down to figure out the steps to take. Halfway you realize you have a difference of opinion, so at this stage, you decide. Let’s talk about that, and then talking about it; you learn all of you were further apart than you thought. I didn’t feel bad; I felt way worse after meeting about our direction. In my mind, we had to address it because it would prevent a lot of work. Once we decide where to go with this part of the product, it’s at it’s going to unleash and unlock a bunch of other work that we’re all going to be able to move forward on the right one.
As you may notice, comfort is good, and you should feel encouraged to take that mental break, the afternoon off after a crazy morning because all this is emotionally draining, and you need the energy to get work done. Today I think I’m immeasurably better at it over time after many compromises and learning to deal with it.
Another approach to compromise in conflict is using the therapy approach where you use sentences such as “I feel strongly about my opinion……”, ”I suggest…..”,” Let us…..”. Compromise can be grown sometimes; it can lead to the right place. For example, in an escalated conflict within our team, the settlement felt worse than choosing ABC solution, and that was difficult right because; if you can compromise and think well, it kind of serves what I want in it. But it’s a compromise; you rationalize that in your head and move forward. Ironically this approach is practical at work and in a personal relationship. I find that it’s more effective not to put people on their back foot where they become defensive when you say you feel like this versus saying like I don’t feel prepared to convince you.
While emotions are bound to get high during conflicts, it is good to scale to a point where you can communicate; this brings us to the point of your first real conflict parties, yes, where you sit around the table and dine to both solved and future conflicts. Because conflicts will never end, and you learn how to counter them, go past them and grow with them.
It is easy to work in a team but parallel with each other in terms of communication. To deal with conflict, you have to communicate often and frequently about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it because that heads off the more significant conflicts that you’re avoiding that you would avoid in the future. So, for example, slack everyone about email visibility and security implications; make it a habit of the team to talk about things as much as possible and make decisions collectively because when you’re on a power team, everybody has a lot of influence over what happens, and everyone has a different perspective.