Embracing Constructive Conflict – Once and For All

You probably consider yourself a determined business leader, perhaps even courageous a lot of the time, but do you still manage to step around conflict if there is reasonable opportunity to do so?

We have written before on what we feel is the very significant, but often unappreciated, value of constructive conflict, or creative friction, or whatever label you would like to put on it. It is also a well-documented fact that most people, at all levels in an organization, will go to considerable lengths to avoid or minimize disagreements.

Harvard Business Review has started 2019 with an article entitled Why We Should Be Disagreeing More at Work, and we thought you might want to begin the New Year tackling this thorny issue too. There is a very real business case for embracing dissenting opinions and working through opposing views, and this articles presents the benefits under the following banners – better work outcomes, opportunities to learn and grow, improved relationships, higher job satisfaction and a more inclusive work environment.

So, how do you get comfortable with dissent and debate, and thereby create a safe environment for your employees or team members to do so? This article offers the following ways to start:

  • Let go of needing to be liked
  • Focus on the big picture
  • Don’t equate disagreement with unkindness
  • Find a role model and emulate them

It’s time to step into the arena, even if it’s just a toe at first. Put your reticence behind you, and start reaping the benefits of vibrant and challenging interactions.

To read the full article, you can go to https://hbr.org/2018/01/why-we-should-be-disagreeing-more-at-work?autocomplete=true