Embrace Conflict

Your Team Will Never Become Its Best Without Conflict. The BEST Answer To Almost Every Issue You Face Will Be A Composite Of The Creativity And Knowledge Of The Various Players On Your Team. If You Aren’t Contributing Anything To Those Best Answers By Opening Your Mouth And Sharing Your Insights – As Risky As That Might Feel – You Are Doing Your Team A Great Disservice

Here Are Five Suggestions For Healthier Conflict In The Workplace, And This Comes From Lots Of Personal Experience – Good And Bad.

Face It. If You Are Human And You Speak, You Will Eventually Say Something Stupid. It’s Going To Happen. Set Your Ego Aside, Share Your Thoughts Freely And Be Equally Open To Considering Thoughts From Your Teammates. None Of Us Have All The Answers, And If You Do, You Need To Surround Yourself With New People Who Are Smarter Than You. To Get To The Truly Great Answers, We Need To Collaborate And Mix It Up With Some Great, Passionate Fighters.

Welcome Statements That Are Raw And Less Polished. Establish A “Just Say It” Rule For Your Team. Propose Something Even When You Know There May Be Significant Flaws In Your Thinking. That’s Okay. Someone Has To Be Bold Enough To Put Something On The Table That The Team Can React To, Refine, And Perfect. Your Proposal Sets The Stage For Counter-Proposals That Shape A Better Solution. So Just Say It!

As Soon As It Becomes About You, Your Team Is Going To Suffer. Self-Interest Leads To Defensive, Combative, Destructive Behavior, So All Dialogue Must Keep The Greater Good Of The Whole Team In Constant View.

Attack The Issue, Never Each Other. Focus On Resolving The Root Cause Behind Each Issue. Even When The Issue Concerns Someone’s Behavior, Identify The Root Cause Behind The Behavior And Focus On Resolving That.

Take A Break. When You Get Stuck Or Tempers Have Flared And It Seems Like You’re At An Impasse, Step Away From Each Other And The Issue For A Short Time, Cool Down, Consider Everything You’ve Heard And Then Come Back To See If The Answer Comes To The Surface. Sometimes It’s Just A 10-Minute Break, Sometimes A Day Or Two. Just Let It Settle A While, And The Answer Will Come.

The Good Fruit That Comes From Healthy Conflict In The Workplace Is Worth All The Risk And Personal Discomfort. Commit To Being Better Fighters And See How That Produces A Healthier, More Prosperous Team

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