Encourage Conflict to Improve Team Performance

Featured Image: Encourage Conflict to Improve Team Performance

Encouraging conflict within your team may seem counter-intuitive – no one wants a team meeting to turn into a shouting match. But open disagreement can yield positive dividends. When everyone appears to be on the same page, chances are that someone is suppressing an opinion or perspective that could move the team forward.

When team members feel uncomfortable voicing concerns, performance suffers in several ways. You may miss important information, foster passive-aggressive behavior, and stifle innovation. The end result is that both your product and your team dynamics suffer.

Here are a few simple ways to promote open discussion during meetings:

  • Don’t let one individual dominate the conversation
  • Proactively “check in” with team members to elicit their input
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Don’t entertain “offline” objections, require that dissent be aired during group discussions

Opening the door to conflict may feel uncomfortable at first, but the long-term benefits are worth the effort.