[MUSIC] Have you ever felt like a kindergarten cop when your employees come to you with petty gripes about each other? Or wondered how you can avoid getting into a conflict with your colleagues when resources are scarce? In this lesson, we're going to learn how to respond to conflict productively and how to teach others to do so as well. There are many types of conflict, but for the purposes of this course, I'm going to delineate conflict into two types, task and affective. Task conflict occurs when people have different ideas about what should be done, when, by whom, or how. We might have a big task conflict, for example, about our goal or a smaller task conflict about how we're going to achieve that goal. Affective conflict includes personality, work style, communication style differences and perceptions. We're having an affective conflict when one or both parties feel annoyed, frustrated, irritated, resentful, hurt, disrespected. Evidence of affective conflict includes when a person rolls their eyes. When someone complains to another person about a third person. When someone sneers or curls their lip or uses a disparaging or a derisive tone. When you are in a meeting and you see one person catch the eye of another person in the room and roll their eyes, you can bet there is some kind of affective conflict going on in that group. Gossip feeds affective conflict. Failing to discuss underlying issues feeds affective conflict. Unresolved conflict leads to affective conflict. Affective conflict creates task conflict, and in this way the two are self reinforcing. A poorly resolved task conflict is one where one or more people believe the conflict was resolved unfairly or they don't believe their voices were heard. One can resolve a task conflict in a way that disappoints some members of a team or a group without the task conflict turning into affective conflict. Affective conflict can create completely unnecessary task conflict. I once worked in a company where the president of our division and the head of construction did not like each other, as in personally, and they argued over everything. Even things I suspect would not be terribly important to one or the other of them if they did not already have a long-standing conflict. For example, in a meeting we held with a group of architects, whom we were paying some several hundred dollars an hour, these two guys argued for several hours over whether the water feature should be built a foot within the front door or a foot outside of the front door. I don't even remember how that got decided in the end. But I do remember that that project was millions of dollars over budget, and their argument was one of the reasons why. Oftentimes what we think are personality conflicts really are just left over task conflicts that were poorly resolved. You can help your entire work group by stopping yourself every time you have a thought that is negative about another person in the group. If you think you're having personality differences with a member of your team, may I recommend you look for things they do well and areas where you share the same values? There was a person I worked with who sounded to my ears to be snippy and brittle. I paid attention to the positive things they did, and I discovered that they cared deeply about the learning outcomes for our students. Ever since then, I've heard them through the filter of this value that we share, transforming the way I understand the content of their messages. And by the way, we want some task conflict. Not all conflict is bad, not all harmony is good. Innovation requires failure and that ideas get challenged. Innovation, creativity, problem solving, they almost always require different viewpoints to achieve. Those differences might be challenging to work through, even uncomfortable for those of us who prefer that everyone get along. But if we all agree, well, either some of us are redundant or we're not truly utilizing the most and best of what we all know to create something together that none of us could create on our own. Consider this quote from Tom Harvey. Conflict should occur in organizations. The presence of conflict is actually a sign of an effective business. Whenever there's a free flow of ideas, creativity and activity, people are going to **** heads. If no conflict exists, something is wrong. Do you agree, disagree, why? With the exception of physical work, where combined effort achieves results, knowledge and creative work required the input of different thinking, styles, experiences, knowledge, viewpoints, and more. And it is out of the conflict that results are achieved. We want to prevent unnecessary conflict, especially affective conflict. And resolve necessary or task conflict productively, such that in addition to resolving the challenge, we don't end up creating future affective conflicts that reduce our long term effectiveness.