Conflict is a necessary part of leadership. With opportunity and growth comes change. Change potentiates conflict. A common conflict situation I have experienced in the workplace occurs when there is a lack of clarity in the direction desired or agreed upon roles and duties for all members of a team. This can create negative results for the organization and the individual team members. The opportunities for conflict are greatly reduced when teams are clear about their roles and the expectations of themselves and others on their teams. Teams that are able to create and move with clarity are more effective in creating positive outcomes.
In order to accomplish this task there are specific elements that must occur within teams to improve upon and operationalize work flows effectively. In the blog of the Servant Leader Institute: Unlocking Teams to Greatness it points out that there are 7 elements of effective team members. The goal being to clarify where we are going, who has what role, how are we working and serving, and most important, what process are we using? In the blog post the 7 steps are:
1. Clear team purpose and goals.
2. Complementary mix of skills.
3. Concise, honest, open communication.
4. Defined performance process.
5. Clearly defined roles.
6. Sense of urgency.
7. Sense of identity, accountability, and commitment.
Based on the 7 elements, we as leaders should be able to assess at any juncture in the process, what are the team’s strengths and weaknesses. In doing so we are then better able to proactively drive our teams’ progress and anticipate potential conflict. When we are able to decrease the resources spent in conflict resolve, we move our teams forward more effectively.