The study published by Psychometrics Canada Ltd in 2009 found that other top causes are poor leadership (73%), lack of honesty (67%) and clashing values (59%).
Also unsurprisingly, it found that that the negative outcomes of conflict include:
- personal insults and attacks
- people being fired
- sick leave
Although there were also some positive benefits reported including conflict leading to the development of better solutions to problems and challenges, major innovations, increased motivation, a better understanding of others and higher work team performance.
The really important finding from the study was that nine out of ten respondents rate the ability to handle conflict as either a very important or critical leadership skill.
But here's the catch - the findings showed that there is a lot of need for improvement in the skills of current managers to do this - with 18% of those surveyed saying that current management and leadership is not at all effective in dealing with conflict and 63% grading them as being somewhat effective.
The good news is that the top 3 behaviors identified that would enable managers to address conflict more effectively are, with some thought and practise, able to be adopted as part of your Operating Style.
The top 3 behaviors identified to developing conflict resolution as a leadership skill were:
1. Be a model of the right behaviors - 84%
2. Identify and address underlying tensions before things go wrong - 83%
3. Provide more clarity over what's expected - 77%
Conflict will happen at work and when it does it's an opportunity to shine by how you handle it.
Love to hear any other attributes you think are key to demonstrating leadership in this area. Let's chat...