If you have been in leadership for any length of time, you have had to deal with employee conflicts amongst your team. Some of the issues are trivial, others substantial, but what do you do to fix these problems?
The source of most conflict in the workplace flows from one specific area – Motivations.
We assess motivations as part of our tools in helping companies hire and evaluate talent. Motivations are an interesting aspect of our psyches. They are deeply seated and have the power to drive behaviors, decision-making, and more. The difficulty of motivations is that they are difficult to determine from simply interacting with someone. Maybe if you work with someone for a handful of years you could approximate their motivational pattern.
All of us have 6 common motivators of different intensities – you can learn about them here. The conflict in the workplace occurs when you have two people with opposite patterns. For instance, if you have a high Theoretical on your team, they will always be looking for new ways of doing things. Conversely, if you have a high Traditional on that same team, the Traditional is going to push back against changing the status quo. At some point, there is a good chance they will be involved in a decision where each of them will come at a solution from completely different viewpoints.
This contradictory viewpoint is where the conflict materializes. It often spills out to statements about changing things for no apparent reason, or you fight all forms of change. There are others, but you see where this conflict takes root and now the conflict grows.
The solution is for each of them to know the other’s motivational pattern. Once elucidated, each person understands the basis of the other’s decision making. Now each person can appreciate the starting point of the other person’s perspective without having the decision process devolve into an argumentative state. That appreciation often leads to successful, thoughtful decisions which have more buy-in from the different people.