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Teams in Conflict...Be R.E.A.L

We want to change the way Corporate America Communicates. Do you care about that? Probably not, but it is why we do what we do.

We work with Teams in Conflict, because a team in conflict has lost their ability to communicate and work effectively together. Most of the other time, people can pass as good enough communicators.

Signs of a Team in Conflict

Most people don’t recognize the signs of a team in conflict, thinking it is only when team members are yelling at each other (BTW, we work with those situations too.) However, most teams move past that point rather quickly, and the signs of conflict show up in other, more subtle ways.

Team members may be:

  • Bored by their Team Meetings – because they are reduced to status reporting versus having engaged, inspiring, healthy conflict and debate.

  • Managing Behavior For Effect – Rather than being real and unfiltered in what they have to say, people maintain the illusion of harmony, when what is going on behind the scenes in more like gossip and politicking.

  • Working in Silos – because people have opted out of the team, they have resorted to focusing on their own work, rather than feeling committed and inspired by collective results.

These are just some of the signs that the team is in conflict.

How’d We Get Here?

Anytime you have a vision or goal that you want to make happen:

  • you pull smart people together

  • people who are passionate about the vision

  • these smart people have very different opinions about how to make that vision a reality

Voila! Tension. Conflict. “Oh Sh*t!”

That’s the rub. You want this creative tension. You need this creative tension — to be successful, but most people have very little ability to manage through that critical tension point.

It is what we call an, “Oh Sh*t!” Moment.

It is what we specialize in.

So when your team first hit the “Oh Sh*t!” Moment earlier, you bumped into a situation that overwhelmed your capacity to respond, and communicate, through. As a result, without knowing how to navigate that moment, you decided to not engage, and instead – opted out.

No wonder. You were not taught how to handle conflict in school, and many of us were ill equipped to deal with conflict growing up in our families. So if you don’t know how to handle this moment, you will eventually opt out, in your own way.

You’ll resort back to what you know, and can control – your own area of work. Sure you’ll go to the meetings, because you kinda have to, and will “play nice” with others until you can get back to your desk and your real work. Sound familiar?

Stop it! You are sabotaging the success of the business.

What To Do

The key is in navigating that critical “Oh Sh*t!” Moment – you want to lean in to that tension. Because that, my friend, is the gold-mine right in the heart of your team. You need to know how to tap that!

The good news: You can make a difference right now!

Even if the “Oh Sh*t!” Moment happened months ago, its contents are still under the table playing havoc with the success of the team and the business. (Check out the Opting Out Example)

Have the courage and curiosity to turn towards the issue, speak up and be R.E.A.L.

  • R – Recognize that you can make a difference. Yes, you. It just takes one member of the team, and it doesn’t have to be the leader. I won’t lie, it helps if it is the leader who models this, but really anyone can do it.

  • E- Engage and state what you see and hear that you don’t like, or have a story about.

  • A- Authentically share the impact it has on you, and possibly the team, then ask for what you want, and check it out.

  • L – Listen and reflect back what you hear.

You’ll be surprised by impact that you can make.

So don’t opt out and sabotage the business. Lean in, and be R.E.A.L.

Of course, you can always give us a call. We would love to help you revive your team and capture that gold-mine of creativity and productivity right under your nose.

CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke

Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict

CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.

They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.

Check out their website: Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.

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