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The only 3 causes of conflict

Conflicts are part of life like salt in the soup. Especially in the professional environment, avoiding conflict is one of the causes of poor collaboration.

If we don't address conflicts, they smolder on anyway and lead to an artificial harmony that benefits no one.

Often, fear is the cause of holding back conflict because we don't know how to handle it.

To effectively deal with conflict, it is critical to know the root causes.

Here comes the good news: there are only exactly three basic causes of conflict. Here they are in a nutshell:
  1. Disagreement about the goal. It happens surprisingly often that two people get into a fight, even though the cause would be quite simple to locate: unclear or divergent goals. If the goal is clear and unambiguous, there is no need to talk about anything else - and certainly no need to argue. Therefore: first make sure that you have the same goals.
  2. Disagreement on the path. Even if there is agreement on the goals, there may be differing views on the best way to get there. Example: If you know you want to enter a new market segment, there may be diverse ways to do it. Tip: Lay out all the options before you talk about evaluation and selection.
  3. Different standards or values. Conflict often arises because we have different sets of standards or values. For example, if you like to take risks and move quickly, but another person is more risk-averse and likes to weigh everything several times, you will be in conflict simply because of these different standards. Tip: Disclose your different standards and then decide how you can come to an agreement.

So: the next time you experience a heated discussion or sense a simmering conflict, check these three causes. One of them will be the biggest cause. Then, discuss possible solutions for it.

➡️ You have to practice leadership success factors like these and others to get good at them. If you want to get to the next level in leadership, contact me with the keyword "NextLevel" or set up a 15min conversation with me ➔ right here. Then we will see if and how I can support you.



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