Why conflict is vital to build great teams
When we talk about conflict in a team, we immediately think of hate, disrespect, envy.
In reality, conflict is an important ingredient to build great teams. Unfortunately, some leaders see conflict as something to avoid and eradicate.
A few months ago, I helped a large international team to overcome some issues that have a negative impact on their business results as well as professional lives.
When we started working together online, I had individual interviews and assessments with the team members to have a better understanding of what was going on in the team that might have led to unsuccessful results.
Among other things, I realised something very interesting. Most of the team members had very little interest to spark some fire within the team. In fact, they were willing to uphold their beliefs and opinions. They were accommodating. Apparently, they thought this was a positive trait that could have helped their work.
Based on my experience, this is nothing new or surprising. Most of the teams are built on harmony.
The problem with harmony is that is often artificial. When harmony is in place, most likely it’s because team members don’t open up. They don’t say what they really think for fear of personal conflict, bad culture, lack of trust, or because they are not vulnerable enough.
On the other hand, although less frequently, I have seen teams where there was hate, competition, destructive arguments, and where the personal agenda was more important than the success of the team.
To build great teams, we need balance. We need constructive and passionate conflicts. And this happens when team members don’t back down from confrontation.
A positive conflict happens when every team member feels his contribution not just matters, but it’s pivotal for moving forward and get results. When this happens, nothing goes unsaid and each idea and opinion is heard and well taken by the team, no matter if it’s pursued.
Not surprisingly, there is no positive and passionate debate if there is no trust in place.
But in order to foster positive conflict in an organisation, leaders need to master a few things:
1. Make sure there is a high level of trust between the team members
2. Promote a culture that allows positive conflict to emerge instead of favoring harmony
3. Rewrite the rules of engagement, so conflict is accepted and become a new norm
4. Gently fan the flames in every meeting, in particular when you feel people are holding their opinions back
5. Give permission instead of suppressing conflict
In summary, positive conflict requires trust, vulnerability, great culture, and the ability for the team members to be uncomfortable in having direct and challenging discussions.
But when there is a common goal for the team and everyone is really engaged and personally vested to team results, conflict is natural, welcomed, and necessary to allow building momentum.
The best leaders don’t look for harmony and complacency. They build great teams by fostering positive and passionate conflict to get the most out of their work.
CARE TO SHARE
Five secrets of successful communicators
5 Warning Signs of Unsuccessful Change Initiatives
The dangerous assumptions about energy and pace to get results
How to launch strategic initiatives online and still get massive results
The big misconception about the target market
The three things you need to attract clients
Who said you can’t thrive in the downturn?
Why you need to develop a strong sense of urgency right now
Why consultants don’t like niches
Where Are You Heading?
How To Leverage Media and Public Relations in the Tech Industry. My Interview with Marketing and Communications Specialist Alessandro Magarini
How Much Value Do You Bring to Your Clients?
The Adoption of New Technologies in Business: My Interview with Digital Transformation Advisor Antonio Grasso
How to Develop Talents Without Spending a Fortune and Getting Better Results
Why a Strong Sense of Urgency Shakes Complacency and Fights Mediocrity
The Oil and Gas Crisis is not a Market Problem. It’s a Leadership Problem.
4 Powerful Lessons to Build Influence and Spectacular Results
How Executives can start their journey with emerging technologies: My Interview with IoT Business Strategist Dimitrios Spiliopoulos
Why Executives Are Failing to Reach their Strategic Goals
Talent strategy, the critical success factor for any fast-growth technology organisation: My Interview with Headhunter Daniel Osmer
From Poor to High-Performing Organisations – How to Turn the Tables
The Warning Signs of Egocentric Leaders
Plan Is Nothing, Planning Is Everything: My Interview with Growth Strategy Expert Lucio Furlani
Four Effective Strategies to Sell to Large Companies
Five Reasons Why Venture Capitalists and Founders Struggle to Tune In
What Is Preventing Your Business to Raise and Shine