Is conflict among members of a team really inevitable? Is all a manager able to do when a conflict arises is meet with the team members and do his or her best to soothe the hurt feelings and play nice and try to get people to forgive each other?
If you read the recent article entitled How Conflict Goes Viral by Lindred Greer in Inc. magazine, you would surely conclude that the answer to both questions is: yes. According to the research done by Lindred and her team, conflicts “inevitably arise” and predictably go through three stages starting with a conflict between two individuals, after which others take sides and the team starts to disintegrate. Since conflict is inevitable, managers need to take action and make sure they do not stay unresolved.
While I don’t take issue with the final statement under the assumption that conflicts are inevitable, I do take exception to the underlying assumption that they are. In our research, we have found that using the Unshackled Leadership philosophy, we can literally transform team members from a world where conflict is inevitable to a world where it is not.
To do this, you must first understand that we live in a world of duality. There literally are two worlds going on simultaneously. Einstein says one is friendly and the other is hostile. A Course in Miracles says one is dominated by love, the other by fear. In the predominant hostile, fear based world, of course conflicts are inevitable. But is it inevitable that people live in that world? We say no.
The real issue is that for most people, that’s the only world that exists. If you put your hand in front of your eyes, you could block out the sun. But that doesn’t mean the sun goes out of existence. In the same manner, just because most people have only seen the world of hostility and fear, that doesn’t mean the other doesn’t exist.
So is there a solution beyond accepting the inevitable? We say yes. Train people in the Unshackled Leadership philosophy which literally transports them from the hostile world of fear to the friendly world of love and watch them play nicely together in the sandbox of business.