A perfect storm for conflict: Zoom fatigue, home schooling, and a long time without proper connection to colleagues.
A friend of mine got fired from a customer facing role a few years ago, after having a huge bust up with a colleague in front of a group of customers.
For his employer, losing two staff members, and embarrassing the team and customers present, could have been avoided by showing some empathy earlier on: They had been working in a busy and stressful environment, and a misunderstanding between two colleagues had turned into a dislike and factions in the team.
These small seeds of discontent are planted daily in the workplace. With so many people bringing mental baggage to work right now, a great manager will pick up on these factors, bringing leadership, empathy and clarity. A bad manager will make assumptions, take sides and fail to listen.
Conflict is not a bad thing – it’s a reality of team life. Avoiding unhealthy conflict however is important for healthy team life. Some simple commitments; like being objective, listening, and pointing people towards the problem causing conflict – rather than the person they are upset at – can help.
Your people matter, handling conflict well helps them know that’s true.