Successful productive teams engage in healthy conflict that result in new and better ideas and a group commitment once a decision is made. Why is this more difficult than it sounds? Many employees don’t engage in spirited discussions because they avoid or even fear conflict. There are three leading causes for this. We will review the first cause: The Fear of Personal Conflict.
This Continuum has a powerful message. Many teams think their artificial harmony is a good thing. No one feels uncomfortable, but better creative ideas don’t emerge because no one speaks up!
The team members’ biggest fear is the meetings will degenerate into mean spirited personal attacks. This may not have happened during current team meetings but many members have witnessed this behavior sometime along their career path.
Many employees dislike watching others in conflict. Their biggest fear is that people in conflict will turn on them or degenerate into name calling or shouting. The “Ideal Conflict Point” can be maintained with a skillful leader who builds trust and encourages respectful dialogue that stays on point and airs all views and sentiments.