Conflict on teams is necessary.
If your organization has trust already as part of the culture then you’ve got a competitive advantage. If not, then one of your leaders needs to be first at being vulnerable – admitting that they don’t have all the answers. Most leaders won’t do this because it’s uncomfortable. Your EGO is protecting you. The boss “should” know everything mentality.
But I want to ask you… Does anyone ever disagree with you?
If everyone is afraid to make a mistake then they will not speak up and disagree with you. This could be selling you and your company short from some brilliant ideas. Arguing or spirited disagreement shows people care about the best outcome for the company. When they don’t have this dialogue bad things will happen.
Ray Dalio, at his company Bridgewater, includes these types of spirited conversations as a regular part of the day, as a team. Create more trust by sharing your story – where you’ve made mistakes and how you went on in your career to learn by more by making those mistakes.
Another place conflict is necessary and plays out in the workplace is around feedback. Feedback is a place for growth but many people make it mean punishment. Remember, disagreeing doesn’t mean you did anything bad and this is a good way for you explain giving honest feedback with your employee.
Pat Lincioni said “Scar tissue recovers faster than healthy tissue so don’t avoid weighing in honestly.”
It takes a certain type of skill and maturity to be OK with conflict and that’s what I help employees develop in my 1:1 coaching program. We work on how to communicate during spirited disagreements and how to develop the ultimate personal “operating system” for high stress situations so you bring your best self to the equation.
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