Conflict can spur better ideas, creativity and greater innovation thus helping companies gain a competitive edge. But here’s the caveat: the conflict must be productive. The focus of conflict should be producing the best possible outcome for a business. It’s not about wining versus losing, someone’s ego, or a power play.
When done right, good team conflict doesn’t damage relationships. “Conflict allows the team to come to terms with difficult situations, to synthesize diverse perspectives and to make sure solutions are well thought out,” says author Liane Davey.
Disagreements are inevitable, normal and a healthy part of relating to others. There’s no such thing as a conflict free work environment, but if there was, it wouldn’t be good for your company, your work or you. Well-managed disagreements can result in positive outcomes:
- Better work outcomes
- Opportunities to learn & grow
- Improved relationships
- Higher job satisfaction
- A more inclusive work environment
Doctors note that scar tissue heals stronger than tissue that’s never been broken. A healed bone is tougher than one that’s never been broken. The same is true when teams learn to use conflict constructively.
Practice embracing conflict in small doses. Be direct in a low stake’s conversation. Be respectful rather than confrontational. Understand the issue you wish to discuss and be prepared to back up your concerns. Chances are, it will go better than you expect. And if it doesn’t, learn and try again.
The road is easier together,