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Conflict Strategies for Nice People

"Help Me Understand"

Another 'nice conflict' tactic when you see an outrageous decision being approved, is to ask for help.

Asking for help to understand the decision indicates you are not endorsing it. You can then ask open-ended questions to steer the decision the right way.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Conflict Strategies for Nice People

Conflict Strategies for Nice People

https://hbr.org/2013/12/conflict-strategies-for-nice-people

hbr.org

8

Key Ideas

A Team Needs Conflict

Overly nice people in the office, who never pick a fight, and value friendly relations with their peers and bosses, may be just as responsible for team dysfunction as the combative ones.

Conflict, though uncomfortable, is a source of true motivation, and crucial for identifying risks and taking compelling decisions.

Benefits Of Conflict

There is a need for conflict in teams for their effective functioning.

  • It allows team members to see difficult situations.
  • It helps put forward alternative solutions and diverse perspectives.
  • It acts as a strength test for the solutions found.

Healthy Conflicts

A nice person's self-image is based on pleasing and agreeing with others.

Instead of just agreeing and being nice, one should add unique value and perspective.

If you only agree with everyone, you may even not be that valuable to the team.

Use 'And' Not 'But'

When a conflict-avoiding person has to disagree or has to add his perspective, he can use the word 'And' instead of showing disapproval of the team's options by saying 'But'.

Imagine A Different Scenario

Another strategy is to hypothetically imagine a different scenario with the team members, putting across your point as a brain exercise, not as a commandment. The team is then less likely to contradict you.

Indirect Questions

If you disagree with a decision and want to preserve your reputation as a nice person, you can ask indirectly, pointing towards the impact of the teams' decision, instead of making a direct statement criticizing or finding fault.

An open-ended question will help add value and invoke discussion.

The Core Issue

When a proposed course of action is wrong according to you, try to understand the core issue, or reasons, that led to the decision, instead of complaining. This will help find common ground with others and take the discussion in the right direction.

"Help Me Understand"

Another 'nice conflict' tactic when you see an outrageous decision being approved, is to ask for help.

Asking for help to understand the decision indicates you are not endorsing it. You can then ask open-ended questions to steer the decision the right way.

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Embrace conflict

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  • Talk together. Each person should have adequate time to say what he or she believes the other party needs to hear. 
  • Listen carefully to gain understanding. Give your complete attention to the person who is talking without interrupting. 
  • Resolution is possible only when you find points of agreement
  • Guide the conversation without taking sides. 
  • Be quick to forgive. Every conflict needs a clear resolution that acknowledges hurt feelings and finds a solution that begins to mend them.

Leadership and conflict go hand-in-hand

Conflict in the workplace is unavoidable. While you can try and avoid conflict (bad idea), you cannot escape conflict. 

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Unresolved conflict

 ... often results in loss of productivity, the stifling of creativity, and the creation of barriers to cooperation and collaboration.

Leaders who don’t deal with conflict will eventually watch their good talent walk out the door in search of a healthier and safer work environment.

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  1. Communication: Conflict due to the lack of information, poor information, no information, or misinformation. Clear, concise, accurate, and timely communication of information will help to ease both the number and severity of conflicts.
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The Cons Of Incentive Programs

  • May Encourage Deception: Employees may look for ways to make their performance appear to be good when it isn’t.
  • Misaligned Incentives: poorly conceived ones may incentivize risky and irresponsible behavior that undermines the mission of the company. 
  • Can Lead to Conflict: iI competitive workplaces with limited rewards, employees may engage in bad behavior to get ahead or become convinced that pursuing incentives is a zero-sum proposition and become resentful. 

The Pros Of Incentive Programs

  • Increased Productivity: Rewarding the delivery of tangible results reinforces that good work will be rewarded. 
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