When you are working with people who have different personalities, outlooks and learning styles plus varying degrees of knowledge and experience, it is inevitable that you will not always agree with one other.
Having a difference of opinion is healthy – but it stops being healthy when it creates conflict and resentment or leads to disagreement and arguments. This can then change the atmosphere and dynamic within your whole team or office.
How you communicate and respond during a difference of opinion can have a significant impact on the overall outcome as well as your working relationships moving forwards. It is not always what you say but how you say it. Not only this, but you also have to consider your motivation and intentions behind your argument. *Are you competing with your colleagues in order to gain the upper hand? Are you collaborating to find a win/win solution? Are you prepared to compromise to please the team? Will you totally avoid the subject in order to delay further discussion? Or will you try to accommodate the other person’s opinion? There is no right or wrong way, as it all depends on the situation and your stance and behaviour towards it.
At SMART Way Forward, we have helped many teams and organisations recognise the importance of good leadership, management and communication skills when dealing with conflict. Differences of opinion are always welcome, but how you react, approach and respond to them can have short and long term benefits or consequences.
*Thomas Kilmann conflict management model
To learn more about our SMART conflict management training courses, please contact us on 01438 227563 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.