by Rick Sloboda | Become a Facebook Fan of Six Revisions.
During your career as a web professional, whether you’re a designer, developer or copywriter, you’re bound to encounter creative differences either within your team, or between you and a client. These situations can be emotionally taxing, but if you have a better understanding of how to work through them and even learn and grow from them, conflicts can actually make you better at your job.
Here are some tips on getting the most out of your conflict, and when it’s best for everyone to just throw in the proverbial towel.
Good Conflict/Bad Conflict
Conflict happens when two or more contradictory perspectives haven’t been agreed on, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, when handled well, conflict forces us to be creative problem-solvers, to avoid mistakes, and to learn how to benefit from our differences, all while challenging us to broaden our skills.
Conflict gets ugly when it affects workflow, gets personal, leads to more conflict, and harms working relationships. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent disagreements from taking you down the wrong path, starting with learning about how different people deal with conflict.
Types of Conflict Behavior
Understanding the types of behavior that occur during conflict, and recognizing which apply to you and your peers, can help you discover how to get the most out of it.
The types of conflict behavior are:
- Competing: you have a high concern for personal goals and low concern for relationships.
- Collaborative: you’re interested in a mutually satisfactory solution.
- Compromising: you’re willing to give something up if they are.
- Avoiding: you delay and ignore the conflict, hoping it will resolve itself.
- Accommodating: you’re willing to make a sacrifice to avoid confrontation.
Depending on the way you and your team deal with conflict with respect to the above behaviors, you could either find yourselves at a creative stand-still, or you could come out of the conflict better than if there was none at all.
A study documented in Creativity and Innovation Management found that certain types of conflict behavior, specifically the confrontational variety, yield better results in terms of creative output. Researchers Petra Badke-Schaub, Gabriela Goldschmidt and Martijn Meyer observed video footage of design teams during idea generation. They then compared the conflict behavior styles of each team to their creative output.
The researchers found that high-scoring groups in the areas of innovation and functionality were more prone to competing and compromising, and low-rated groups were more collaborative. The findings also showed that more ideas were generated in the higher-scoring groups, while more repetition of ideas occurred in the low-scoring groups. The researchers concluded that creative performance in teams is not achieved mainly by agreement, but needs cognitive confrontation.
In other words, don’t be afraid to challenge the ideas of people on your team (respectfully), the results are often favorable, while being too agreeable for the purpose of avoiding confrontation can produce lackluster results.
Constructive Team Conflict
What’s the best way to deal with conflict on your team? There are many methods out there, but perhaps the most applicable to conflict on a creative team, is the Conflict Resolution Network’s Creative Response kit…. Sigue leyendo