Characteristics & Strength in Conflict Management
The servant leadership model is significantly different than other leadership models in the fact that it places subordinates’ needs first and attempts to share authority with subordinates. This contrasts the classical hierarchical leadership models which attempt to gain authority and exercise it with only the goal of task accomplishment. There are ten characteristics which distinguish the servant leadership model form other models which include: “listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of others, and building community” (Greanleaf Academy, 2015). These characteristics distinguish the servant leadership model by creating high levels of collaboration. This model requires a large amount of flexibility within the workforce and especially with leadership. Within the team environment this flexibility is even more essential due to the need to work towards a common goal.
Servant leadership may provide a more effective leadership model in terms of conflict management because it stresses collaboration. However, it is worth noting that servant leadership must still identify conflict’s causes in order to be effective. Some of the causes of conflict in the workplace include: conflicting needs, conflicting styles, conflicting perceptions, conflicting goals, conflicting pressures, conflicting roles, different personal values and unpredictable policies (Bell, 2002). Workplace conflict is often misunderstood and viewed in an uncritical fashion such as the typical ‘he said she said’ scenario. However, conflict is resolvable but in most instances workers and managers often work around issues rather than working through them (Bell, 2002). For this reason, servant leadership may be more suited for conflict management since workers and managers work collaboratively and cannot skate around issues easily.
Bell, Art. (2002). Six ways to resolve workplace conflicts. McLaren School of Business, University of San Francisco.