Most of us avoid conflict at work. We don’t want to get ourselves involved with another office drama. According to CCP Global Human Capital, the annual cost of workplace conflict in the U.S. is worth $359 billion dollars in lost time productivity. Although disagreements are inevitable, workplace disputes can be good for both employees and business owners. Below are ways in which conflict at work can be good for you.
- Conflict changes your perspective. When a conflict arises, we often consider using a different approach or doing something we’re not familiar with to get the job done. Sometimes a colleague’s different point of view- which in certain cases can cause
majorconflict within a team- can help reveal flaws in a project and produce new ideas that might otherwise have not been considered.
- Conflict can create better outcomes. Innovations come from being forced to solve a problem. When you and your coworkers continually ask if there’s a better, faster, or more cost-effective approach, that creative thinking will probably lead you and your team to find previously unexplored possibilities and create novel solutions. Conflict also plays a vital role in identifying and mitigating tasks. It will force you to explore the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and find the best solutions to your problems.
- Conflict gives us opportunities to learn and grow. Has someone ever told you that your work sucks? Most of us have had our abilities and ideas challenged. While upsetting, conflict gives us an opportunity to learn. By listening and incorporating feedback, you learn from your mistakes, gain experience, see a different perspective, try new things, improve your skills, and develop as a professional.
- Conflict can improve job satisfaction. A study of American and Chinese employees found that those who avoid conflict and adopt a more passive conflict handling style ignore or play down work-related problems, which causes more stress and animosity between disputants. If you want to be happier at the office, you shouldn’t be afraid to give constructive feedback about issues at work. The key is learning how to manage conflict effectively. Instead of feeling like you have to walk on eggshells, show care for others, focus on common interests and pursue a win-win situation when managing conflict. If you do it right, you’ll feel more satisfied with what you accomplished and gain more enjoyable interactions with colleagues.
- Conflict helps strengthen relationships. As surprising as this sounds, workplace conflict between employees, departments, and even competitors can help build relations through mutual understanding and respect. Working through conflict could make people feel closer to each other and they’ll learn insights and
which work style preference is valued by both sides.
- Conflict forces us to ask questions. Workplace disputes
tend toopen a pandora box of questions for those on both sides of the issue. Although difficult and sometimes agonizing, asking these questions can lead to new ideas and breakthroughs that can benefit employees, departments, and even entire organizations. Without conflict, nothing changes. We need to question and continuously challenge the status quo to be able togrow as individuals or improve an organization’s performance. Conflict gives us an opportunity to reconsider the possibilities.
- Conflict ends stagnation. As with everything in life, change is inevitable. In the 1990s, Netflix innovated by shipping out DVDs to customers’ homes while Blockbuster didn’t. The former CEO of Blockbuster John
Antiocothought it was ridiculous and derided the idea as a niche market not worth pursuing. Fast forward to 2010, Blockbuster files for bankruptcy and Netflix isworth $28 billion dollars. Businesses that avoid conflict are evading change. It’s a futile endeavor that could cause the downfall of even the most successful organizations. Companies who encourage staff to handle conflict effectivelyby approaching them in a positive and productive way can beat stagnation and continue to provide clients with new and innovative solutions to meet their needs.