My clients often share that they don’t like conflict, and so they try to avoid it. But when I dig a little deeper, I learn it’s because they’ve mainly experienced negative conflict. Yelling. Hot tempers. Winners and losers. People pulling in opposite directions. When conflict gets toxic, that’s when teams get into trouble.
Yet the highest performing teams have a high level of conflict. In fact, conflict is good for teams—as long as it’s healthy and respectful—because it produces the best ideas and pushes the boundaries. When there’s no conflict, people don’t disagree, and the team doesn’t benefit from the variety of diverse ideas.