An Exercise to Help Your Team Feel More Comfortable with Conflict

Have you noticed your organization becoming so focused on building a happy, engaged workforce that your leaders are becoming profoundly conflict-avoidant? I see examples of this all the time. One clue that your team is avoiding conflict is if the least bit of discomfort in a meeting causes someone to suggest that you “take it offline.” This, of course, triggers the meeting-after-the-meeting phenomenon — another hallmark of a conflict-avoidant culture.

You can normalize productive conflict on your team by using an exercise to map out the unique value of each role and the tensions that should exist among them. Here’s how. Draw a circle and divide that circle into enough wedges to represent each role on your team. For each role, ask:

1) What is the unique value of this role on this team? What should this person be paying attention to that no one else is? What would we miss if this role wasn’t here?

2) On which stakeholders is this role focused? Whom does it serve? Who defines success?

3) What is the most common tension this role puts on team discussions? What one thing does the person in this role have to say that frequently makes others bristle?

Read the complete article and other intersting articles related to handling conflict here: https://hbr.org/2017/04/how-self-managed-teams-can-resolve-conflict

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