August 21, 2012 / 2:07 PM / 5 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Handle both kinds of conflicts

BOSTON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Leaders need to figure out whether the inevitable conflict within their teams is of a constructive or destructive variety, and act accordingly, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Every team has a certain amount of conflict, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. As a leader you should identify whether the tension is destructive or constructive, and address it directly.

Destructive conflict, including personal attacks and scapegoating, undermines the trust that is vital to working relationships. Manage it by acknowledging the problem, using persuasion, reminding others of the long-term perspective, or otherwise deploying your power as a leader.

Constructive conflict, on the other hand, is when team members have divergent perspectives on your most important tasks or priorities.

Ask pointed questions to draw the issues out. Then insist that your employees discuss them openly and work out solutions that can be integrated into your team's overall vision."

- Today's management tip was adapted from "the Harvard ManageMentor Online Module: Leading and Motivating."

(For the full post, see: here)

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