In this Work/Life podcast episode, “The Science of Productive Conflict,” organizational psychologist Adam Grant talks to two people who share their observations and assumptions in a conflict and invite the other person to do the same. This process, Adam suggests, will help you figure out what the conflict really is.
Listen to this podcast episode at “The Science of Productive Conflict”
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“Extensive research shows that conflict has a big impact on cohesion and performance. The key issue, though, is not how often we have conflict—it’s how well we manage it. The goal isn’t to have less conflict; it’s to have the right kind of conflict. And to do that, we need to start by recognizing what we’re actually arguing about—which is often not what we think we’re arguing about at all.”
The episode continues: “Beyond clarifying roles, a second step for dealing with status conflict is to establish respect. Corinne has found that in a status conflict, it helps to make it clear that you value the other person—their skills, their commitment, or their contribution. Literally by saying it out loud, like “I admire your expertise on financial markets” or “’I appreciate how hard you work on tasks that aren’t even in your job description.’”
But confronting any type of conflict can be uncomfortable. Talking with the goal in mind to listen is the best place to start.