This is a culture micro-practices - small, sometimes unconventional ideas to improve company culture, inspire new behaviours and ways of working, and promote psychological safety, collaboration, employee experience, and engagement.
In the UK alone, an average of 485,800 employees resign each year as a result of conflict, costing employers £14.9 billion in replacement recruitment costs and lost output as new employees get up to speed.
I was only a C-grade math student, but I believe that comes out to around £30,644 per employee.
If you've had any employees leave in the last 6 months, how many do you think might have resigned due to conflict?
It’s not we should avoid conflict. We can’t simply because it's part and parcel of people collaborating. We need to learn how to harness the energy which goes into it and use to fuel our teams rather than tear them apart.
The first step to doing that is to understand our default responses in conflict situations.
Building on the previous micro-practice where I introduced you to the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), this week I'd like to suggest a few games and practices to make using TKI a regular practice.
Culture Micro-Practice: Making conflict a regular practice
TKI Mindful Listening: team members pair up and take turns discussing a topic that they may have a differing opinion on (easiest if you have a few scenarios ready). The listener must use the TKI to identify the speaker's conflict resolution style and use active listening skills to fully understand their perspective. Once the speaker is finished, the listener must repeat back what they heard to ensure understanding.
TKI Team Building Challenge: In this challenge, the team must work together to complete a task or solve a problem (you have to come up with these), but with a catch. Each team member is assigned a different conflict resolution style based on the TKI and must use this style throughout the challenge. The team that completes the task successfully while utilising each style wins.
TKI Storytelling Challenge: In this challenge, team members must tell a story that involves a conflict and incorporates each of the five conflict resolution styles in the TKI. The team with the most engaging and creative story wins.
TKI Team Trivia Challenge: Create a trivia game where questions are based on each team member's preferred conflict resolution style, as determined by the TKI assessment. The team with the most correct answers at the end wins.
TKI Charades Challenge: In this challenge, team members must act out a conflict scenario using only gestures and body language. Each team member must use the TKI to identify the best conflict resolution strategy to incorporate into their gestures. The team with the most accurate and effective charades wins.
Incorporate TKI into a team-building activity: break into small groups and discuss a hypothetical conflict situation. Have each group come up with a plan for resolving the conflict using a specific mode, and then present and compare the different approaches.
Have a TKI "roundtable" discussion: with your team or coworkers discuss any conflicts that have arisen in the last month and brainstorm ways to approach them using different modes.
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