Positive aspects of conflict lesson two. Let's review our objectives. Discover the positive aspects of conflict. Identify appropriate management of conflict. And differentiate the causes of conflict. Remember it's not that conflict exists because conflicts exist in many ways at many levels. It's the way in which conflict is handled that can be a negative experience or promote a negative outcome. You may have been in situations where you have seen conflict being managed well, you may have also had the opportunity to witness poor conflict management. If you are truly honest with yourself, I am sure you can identify times in which you have managed conflict well and when you have not. Don't be too harsh on yourself when issues arise. The reality is that we have all been there. We have all had those moments in our lives when we can be proud of our conflict management, and when we wish we could go back in time and erase the experience and start over again. So let's go ahead and take a look at the causes of conflict. Whether conflict is good or bad, it can stem from any number of sources. Knowing these will help you approach situations with understanding, and recognize the possible catalyst of future conflict. Remember that there will always be enduring differences among the individuals and groups in their values, preferences, beliefs, knowledge and perceptions of the world. But that it is largely reactions to these differences that causes conflict. Once again it is how we behave during conflict, not the fact that there are differences between us. Let's take a look at problems with communication. This is one of the core causes with conflict. This is one of the major causes. A failure to share ideas and feelings can force the other person to fill in the blanks, often resulting in incorrect assumptions and negative feelings. So, the lack of effective communication and the failure to share ideas or concerns can be a huge cause with your communication and problem with conflict. Additionally, if you have a lack of effective leadership on your team. Maybe you have a group of leaders that can't make decisions. They may be maverick in their approach to things. They could also be individuals that are, how can I say, let's say, they diffuse issues for productivity ineffectively. So when we look at causes of conflict in leadership, we can have individuals that have struggle in decision-making. And we could also have breakdown in communicating goals and objectives. When you talk about lack of agreement or decision-making it's always surrounding about who's in charge or how are we going to get things done? In many situations, this is the core sense of conflict. One of the other issues with respect to conflict that causes discrepancy in role performance, and that's basically when your role is not clearly identified for the outcome or your performance measurements. If you don't know how others see you in the role that you serve, or when your performance expectations are not clearly outlined. How often have you started a job and maybe the only thing you have as a guidance is somebody teaching you the functional approach to your role, but you don't even know what your objectives are or what you're supposed to achieve or even more importantly how your role effects the division, department or the company of which you serve. Change can also be a significant part of conflict. If change isn't managed healthy then he can push people into staying into the same area that they've always been in where they're comfortable, meaning resistance of change. We talked about this before, where an individual says, I've always done this this way. Or you might have worked in situations where a new software enhancement has been included, and it's not something that some individuals want to embrace. I like the old Excel version, it's something I was familiar with. It was something I was comfortable with. So, this causes conflict within work environment that if not managed correctly, not socialized with respect to what's going on, conflict can ensue. Another example of change can be if a company merges or acquires a different organization, or maybe spins off with a different product. All of these types of changes can cause conflict in a work environment if not managed in a healthy way. So, you need to talk individuals out of their comfort zone. And do this in a manner that is respectful, as well as ensures that everyone's performance is just to get to the next level, but not to criticize. Change when it's abrupt or unpredictable, so that goes back to socializing. You come to work and all of a sudden you find out that your cube has been moved and you didn't know. That's the type of change that can also cause huge conflict in a work environment. So it's very important to socialize the ideas, socialize what's going on. So a very strong communication campaign can help resolve issues around change. So you have another cause of conflict and that's unresolved prior conflict. So say for example you've taken a position in a situation where you thought at the time it was no big deal, so you walked away from dealing really with how you felt. But you didn't let it go. And you allowed yourself to stew over that situation and over time it builds up. So we start to characterize individuals by not allowing ourselves to be honest and communicate effectively with team members about how we feel about a situation. This is not taking a position. This is not looking for power. This is simply being able to express your feeling over a situation so you can have resolution and not have unresolved prior conflict. Stress is also a huge indicator for conflict in a work environment. It's a major cause for issues today with the flattening of organization and the expectations for individuals to pick up more responsibilities with less resources. Helping your team members manage through stress is very critical in any organization to resolving this type of conflict. Using your power in your communication skills, your active listening skills and making sure that employees are being heard all assists in helping resolve stress situations and also eliminates that type of conflict. When you have, goes back to dividing resources, so you have a flatter organization, fewer team members, they're taking on more roles, productivity can ensue. And in conflict situation when you have low productivity, that is caused by not managing resources correctly, or the distribution of work is not fair, or at least some individuals feel it's not fair, these are all sources of conflict in a work environment.