Leading Through Conflict Overview

In life, conflict is inevitable when you are working with multiple people. Disagreements happen. To be successful, leaders must understand and skillfully navigate the emotions and behaviors of their teams when they do. Leaders who lead through conflict effectively help their teams learn and grow together. There are a variety of approaches to resolving and managing conflict. Selecting the most effective approach for the situation will depend on a number of factors including the cause, nature, dynamics and dimensions of the conflict, the leader’s relationships with those involved, and, the leader’s knowledge of and ability to use appropriate conflict management strategies and processes.

“Successful leaders manage conflict; they don’t shy away from it or suppress it but see it as an engine of creativity and innovation. Some of the most creative ideas come out of people in conflict remaining in conversation with one another rather than flying into their own corners or staking out entrenched positions. The challenge for leaders is to develop structures and processes in which such conflicts can be orchestrated productively.” 

— Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky

Leading Through Conflict Toolkit

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