The types of conflict that break people and teams apart are the interpersonal conflicts that occur. However, cognitive conflict is the disagreement about approaches and ideas. If the team recognizes and understands the types of conflict, it can be a resource to nurture productivity.
Building teams and building trust
The most constructive ways to deal with conflict is to use great communication skills, and connect with others to build trust and stronger relationships. By paraphrasing and asking questions, the issues stay separated from the person.
|Shelee King George & me 2010|
When we are listeners, we have three inhibitors that get in the way, so we need to put them on call waiting:
1) Autobiographical Listener (the ME TOO listener), who is constantly thinking of their own story, while it would be better to focus on the other person;
2) Solution Listener (the Mr./Mrs. Fix It Person), who offers solutions, however it would be better to paraphrase first then ask questions;
3) Inquisitive Listener (has personal questions that are unrelated to the topic), this person is easily distracted, therefore needs to work on focusing on the message of the other person.
Shelee then reminded me that paraphrasing serves two purposes:
- For myself, to clarify and summarize in my head what I heard, then usually clarifying questions follow.
- Paraphrase for the speaker, to help the speaker summarize his/her thoughts. This is followed by probing questions for the speaker to help shift the conversation to where I want it to go, or to move it on.
We often fall into one of the three categories, so it's important to know which one is my own inhibitor, and to work towards being a better listener and communicator. By working on these skills, it helps foster trust, clarity, and it can keep differences in opinions focused on the issues rather than becoming interpersonal conflicts that separates teams.
I'd like to hear from you:
- How do you build trust and build your team?
- How do you identify the types of conflict?
- How do you turn conflict into productivity?