Conflict on a team is not only good, it’s necessary to ensure members of the team are challenging themselves and each other to a higher level of performance. As with most things in life, the extremes are the problem. If a team is in constant conflict, then it needs to evaluate root causes. Likely there are trust issues that need to be uncovered and resolved. In addition, distinctly different personalities that just don’t understand one another's’ perspective can lead to ongoing destructive conflict. On the other hand, even if a team never exhibits conflict, the odds are it is still there – it’s just buried and could turn out to be even more destructive. Here are some tips to evaluate whether your team has healthy or destructive conflict:
People change and grow personally from the conflict.
The conflict results in a solution to a problem.
The conflict increases involvement of everyone affected.
No decision is reached and problems still exist.
It diverts energy away from more value-added activities.
It polarizes or divides the team.
Watch for future posts on how to effectively manage conflict on your team.