Let there be CONFLICT!

by | Nov 8, 2022

Why it’s important to face the tension rather than avoid it…

Here’s the scenario:

A team is being passive-aggressive with one another. They don’t get along well. They don’t trust each other. They’re just not gelling. And it seems like every little thing that happens is just another opportunity for breakdown.

So you think…I’ll take my team on an outing or a retreat…maybe it’s a ropes course or an escape room. Going on a team retreat, however, doesn’t solve the break in teamwork if vital conversations don’t happen.

If you don’t have conversations about where things are breaking down—honest, sometimes awkward, uncomfortable conversations—a team outing is not going to fix anything.

It’s much like getting a scrape on your arm. It may be moderately deep, but you don’t bother cleaning it – you just put a band-aid on it. You go on about your day and think all is well.

But, over time, the scrape doesn’t get better. It ends up getting infected. Putting a different or bigger band-aid on it won’t make it any better.

COACH APPROACH LEADERS know how to leverage conflict as an OPPORTUNITY for team building.

How do they do this?

START WITH WHO—in a group setting, discover and discuss the natural wiring, values, and beliefs of each team member. When each team member becomes more SELF-AWARE and OTHERS-AWARE, they will see their teammates in a new light. They’ll see things they have in common, as well as learn where many of the conflicts and triggers may be coming from.

ALIGN ON THE WHAT—identify what the team is working toward…what are the key goals and priorities? Does each team member have clarity around how their role contributes to the goals and correlates to the bigger picture?

FINISH WITH THE HOW—with the knowledge of the who and agreement on the what, collectively determine the how. This is often where the really sticky conversations occur. This is where barriers to success in both the relationships and results are vetted out, and where ‘who we are’ as we ‘work toward the what’ truly gets defined.

It takes more energy, time, stress, and frustration to get to the end result (the what) if you’re having to constantly work around an unaddressed conflict (problems with the ‘who’ or the ‘how’).

If you need a partner to help with facilitating this process of team development, I’d love to talk with you!

You can learn more about the COACH APPROACH to LEADERSHIP or schedule a call with me here.