October 15, 2019 10:00 am Published by

Call It What It Is #172

Living in Minnesota is a wonderful thing…and it’s got interesting twists as well. I’m not just talking about the weather! People are not as direct in their communication here, which can be a challenge.

While delivering a keynote about team health, we were discussing the need for healthy conflict. One leader questioned me and asked if we could call it “challenge” instead of conflict. While I’m all about forwarding language, I encouraged him to call it what it is, conflict.

Conflict, when about ideas, issues and opportunities is the pursuit of the best possible answer. It is the consolidation of many points of view and requires thinking, not automaticity. When done in a healthy way, it’s the difference between companies growing or stagnating, relationships thriving or becoming a façade and teams winning or losing.

With most teams, there’s simply not enough conflict. The most successful teams have passionate, impactful discussions that favorably alter the course of the leaders as well as the trajectory of the company.

The same is true of people. We need conflict and feedback to improve. Without conflict and feedback, each of us is left to think on our own. Often, the people closest to us reinforce our positions without encouraging growth or risk. It is possible that they don’t want to change or grow based on what might result.

The best relationships practice healthy conflict regularly. Without it, you’ll have more challenges.

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