The Absence of Conflict

I love thinking about teams. I love considering the best ways to get a group of people on the same page, and working together towards a common goal. I love thinking about how to create an environment that will make great people want to be on the team.

And here is one of my favorite team concepts: the sign of a great team is NOT the absence of conflict. Rather, the sign of a great team is the ability to resolve conflict. Because even the best teams, and the best relationships, will inevitably have conflict. Our ability to consistently resolve that conflict will impact the kind of team we have more than any other variable. If we cannot learn how to resolve those inevitable conflicts, then the team will not thrive, and probably will not be together for very long.

Now, the “how” is the hardest part of conflict resolution. It is not always easy, and often will require multiple steps. But in my experience, the key aspect of consistent conflict resolution comes down to listening and respect. When we listen to each other, and respect the opposing perspective, we are on our way to reasonable dialogue and eventual resolution.

Just because we listen to and respect other perspectives does not mean we always have to agree. We can listen and respect and still agree to disagree. That’s fine. But often simple listening skills and demonstrations of respect will be at the heart of consistent and reasonable conflict resolution.

When you are trying to build a great team… or when you think you have one and want to keep it great… spend some time thinking about how you will handle those difficult moments when the team is not on the same page. Great teams are not always on the same page, all the time. But great teams know how to get on the same page, even when the opinions are not aligned.

I hope this helps!

Have a great day.

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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Brett Slater

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.