Trigger conflicts with diversity
- Now you know that positive effects could come off of a conflict, you might think of ways on how to stimulate it.
- How can you make your team members disagree about their task?
- Well, think about what you have learnt about team composition in the forming stage of a work team. Remember the power of diversity?
- Diversity is one way to stimulate task conflict.
- Because of variety in background, points of view and interests, chances are high that in diverse team members will disagree with each other.
Be careful about relationship conflict
- However, before you start stirring up the fight in your diverse team, I would like to warn you that it is difficult to stimulate task conflict without simultaneously increasing relationship conflict.
- Research shows that the two types of conflict often occur simultaneously and there are significant links between them. Particularly diversity could trigger relationship conflict.
- That is, team members might have stereotyped ideas about each other, and their personal or cultural values might be clashing.
Do “transformational leadership”
- There are some things that leaders can do to manage conflict in diverse teams though.
- As such that the benefits of task conflict are reaped and the risks of relationship conflict are minimized.
- We have related these actions to a well-studied leadership style that is called “transformational leadership”
- As a transformational leader, you can set challenging - superordinate – task goals and high expectations.
- Make sure that you – the manager - are a role model that team members can use to identify with the team.
- Voice a vision that shows that diversity is valued and treat all team members equally respectfully.
Take care of the individuality of each one
- Finally, it is very important that you not only support the team as a whole, but that you also support team members individually and provide them with feedback.
- You can help them to identify their individual needs and to voice their concerns in an open and transparent working environment.