We recently addressed appreciation; today we turn to how conflict builds teams. Huh? Yes, it’s true! Just like appreciating differences will go a long way to creating an effective and high performing team, learning how to have conflict is a key component to healthy teams. Inc.com shares how avoiding conflict not only is not good for team function, but also could discourage innovation.
While valuing and accepting differing backgrounds and talents builds your teams, sharing conflicting opinions in an open manner is the next step. And those different opinions don’t always need to be right – or wrong. When we share our own ideas and thoughts in a safe space, we are more likely to discover new perspectives. We may uncover inventive solutions to current issues and problems.
Environment is KEY
Creating a safe environment for this kind of thought sharing is critical. Conflict builds teams IF that conflict is within an overall atmosphere of respect and collaboration. It takes courage to speak up when you are not in agreement. And this is where true team work is necessary.
Knowing your thoughts will be both heard and taken seriously despite conflict takes a measure of trust. When that conflict also leads to an innovative and new solution, of course the positive results are obvious. The less obvious result is that the team becomes stronger and more effective.
We often think our point of view is the “right” way, but where would our world and our culture be without differing opinions. Conflict is a good thing! Otherwise we’d still live on a flat planet without electricity or airplanes. As a result of conflict we live in an incredible world of opportunity!
Okay, conflict build teams? But how?
1. Agree first
Find those areas and details upon which you do agree. Because building commonalities reminds everyone of the basic foundation of the team. Remember to go back to the mission or vision of the organization or department. It is rare that there isn’t some measure of agreement within the situation. At the end of the day, you should all be going for the same goal. Higher sales, increased customer satisfaction, more effective products… You decide.
2. Build walls
So, keeping it civil should go without saying, but a reminder every now and then can’t hurt, right?
Establishing boundaries or rules for conflict is imperative. Therefore, respectful speech and no name calling is non-negotiable. Most of all, everyone should get a turn for their voice to be heard. The introvert whose ideas may revolutionize the industry needs their chance. Take the time needed to work it out yet set aside the conflict when decisions are final. And make sure there aren’t winners and losers. Since it’s collaboration and innovation allow the whole team to win.
3. Laugh and play
Finally, find ways to include humor and inject a little fun into the conflict. Using game play or team building events can go a long way to allowing team members to work out their differences. Therefore, there’s nothing wrong with shooting a few Nerf darts at one another to blow off some steam. Maybe rehearsing conflict in a playful environment is exactly what is needed. As a result you can cruise through the current actual conflict in the work place.
To discuss how you can build your team, call 855-TEAM BLD or contact your representative today.