Identifying the 5 modes of conflict
Reading for Leading is a weekly leadership tip shared every Monday morning as a pithy suggestion, question or reflection. You can find the whole series here.
Conflict is something that all teams encounter and successfully resolving conflict is key to ensuring that everyone continues to feel part of the team – retaining trust, and belief in the shared vision. Thomas and Kilmann have identified two factors that influence our individual approaches to conflict – cooperativeness and assertiveness – resulting in 5 conflict styles.
Illuminate the marginalia
Next time you’re sat in a meeting and find yourself disengaging from the conversation, instead of reaching for your phone, your inbox or a daydream, try to determine what the script and accompanying director’s notes are for your character at this point.
Are you silently having a different conversation to the one that’s actually taking place in the room? Maybe you’re re-enacting last month’s meeting which left you feeling road-blocked. Is there something going unsaid that maybe needs for you to suggest a one-to-one check in with someone in the room – or even for you to be brave and speak out while everyone is still in it?
Taking time to examine the marginalia around the edges of your current script could tell you a lot about why this particular scene isn’t working out for you today – and what you can do to address it.
Source of inspiration: Mental models chapter of “The Fifth Discipline” by Peter Senge.