If You’re Not Having Conflict, One Of You Isn’t Necessary

by | Aug 5, 2023 | Resources

In any team, conflict is often seen as a disruptive force that can hinder productivity and create tension among members. However, not all conflict is detrimental; in fact, healthy conflict can be a powerful catalyst for growth, creativity, and overall team success. When approached properly, with the right mindset conflict can lead to better decision-making, enhanced collaboration, and the emergence of innovative ideas.

1. Diverse Perspectives:
Healthy conflict arises when team members with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and opinions come together. Each individual brings unique insights and ideas to the table, which can enrich the team’s problem-solving capabilities and broaden the scope of potential solutions. When engaged in constructive debates, team members are encouraged to think critically, challenge assumptions, and explore multiple perspectives.

2. Open Communication:
Conflict often stems from a lack of understanding or miscommunication. Encouraging healthy conflict can only happen when there is vulnerability based trust between team members.  Trust ensures that team members openly share their thoughts and concerns, especially when they are contrary. It creates an environment where individuals feel safe to express their ideas without fear of judgment or reprisal. Trust strengthens team dynamics, which leads to open communication paving the way for effective collaboration.

3. Resolving Issues and Decision-Making:
Good healthy conflict between team members forces us to evaluate the pros and cons of various possibilities. We believe that having rigor around discernment during these conversations lead to the best outcomes.

4. Personal Growth and Empathy:
Healthy conflict encourages self-awareness and personal growth. When faced with dissenting opinions, individuals may need to reevaluate their own beliefs and biases. As team members trust and understand each other better, they can build stronger connections and work more harmoniously.

5. Stimulating Innovation:
Innovation often thrives in the face of adversity. Healthy conflict pushes teams to think outside the box and seek novel solutions to challenges. The creative tension that emerges from constructive unfiltered, ideological debate can spark groundbreaking ideas that might have otherwise remained undiscovered. This innovative energy ultimately drives progress and enhances the team’s competitive edge.

6. Strengthening Relationships:
Learning to understand conflict as simply seeking mutual understanding in pursuit of the best idea is an integral part of building strong relationships among team members. When discussions are addressed with respect and openness through healthy conflict, it demonstrates a commitment to mutual growth and success. Successfully navigating conflict builds trust, respect, and cohesiveness within the team.

My friend Hazel used to say, “If you’re not having conflict, one of you isn’t necessary”.  Conflict in personal relationships, as well as on teams, is simply seeking mutual understanding in the pursuit of the best idea. Every voice is valuable and needed to make the right decisions.

Where do you stand?

Do you avoid conflict?

Or have you learned to embrace healthy conflict?