Leadership Goals: Conflict Or Collaboration

An organization depends on its team. Subsequently, its success stands on the important decisions that key leaders take to increase its efficiency. And when a group of people joins hands to discuss a certain topic, conflicts become inevitable. But, without conflicts, a business cannot prosper because it is this conflict that reflects different viewpoints of different people who are an integral part of the team. So, for a team leader, leadership goals must include tactful dealing with these conflicts and meticulous construction of decisions that will help the company to prosper.

What should be your proper leadership goals?

As a leader of the team, you have to keep in mind that, not all your team members will say or agree to the same point. They must have different perspectives. It is you who will listen to each one of those views, and respond wisely. According to Francesca Gino, professor at Harvard Business School, our tendency is to close the negotiations quite quickly because we generally fear disagreement. Well, that is not a proper leadership quality. As a skilled leader, you have to promote ‘constructive dissent, which means respectful and productive disagreements aimed at others’ viewpoints. You can understand from a real-life example. After he was elected as President in 1860, Abraham Lincoln had appointed three members for the Republican nomination to his cabinet. And guess what, all these three members were actually his rivals in the past. And, he benefited from this decision. But, the risk is always there. Conflicts may be destructive, distracting as well as damaging. If these are aimed at someone personally, especially when the debate is going on topics such as priorities, goals, or interests, the consequences can be horrible. As a team leader, you have to be very careful about all these circumstances. So, it’s important to set your leadership goals whenever you get appointed.

How do you handle conflicts in collaborative leadership?

Leadership goals

There are certain ways by which you can use the positive outcome of conflicts among your team members or inter-team conflicts.

1. Do not let the differences among teams hit the table:

When you will be negotiating with another team, it is recommended to discuss the differences behind the scenes, and not on the bargaining table because that will be a sign of weaknesses which may lead the whole process of collaboration to a grand failure. Elizabeth Mannix of Cornell University had suggested a two-phase discussion between the two teams before sitting for the bargain. 

2. Let the employees communicate among themselves, even on the personal level:

Better understanding among the team members will create good partnerships which are exceptionally important for a collaborative project. So, when you’re a team leader, let your team members communicate with each other, discuss personal daily matters so that they can think of each other as partners aiming at a common goal.

3. Let the members share their important insights:

For a collaborative project, you should not restrict someone to a team or department in which he/she works. You should give him/her space so that that person can give valuable insights and suggestions for the project to succeed. Pixar Animation had understood this quite early and had set an example themselves. Leadership is a very respectable and reputable position one can get. Hence, make fine use of it. Don’t get panicked to face conflicts. Setting definite leadership goals has no alternative. Follow those and become efficient and admired leaders.

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Dushyant Gandotra

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