The Surprising Benefits of Conflict in the Workplace

The Surprising Benefits of Conflict in the Workplace

Conflict in the workplace is often seen as negative, but it can be productive if managed well. In fact, lack of conflict on a team is the real negative. When teams lack conflict, it means that either everyone on the team thinks alike or those who think differently are too afraid to speak their mind. Healthy conflict increases communication, trust, teamwork, and innovation.

In this article, we will explore four surprising benefits of conflict in the workplace. And we’ll discuss how leaders can create a safe space for sharing diverse perspectives and model respectful debate to leverage the benefits of conflict.

Understanding Different Perspectives

The first surprising benefit of conflict in the workplace is that conflict helps team members understand different perspectives. This leads to empathy and diverse problem-solving skills. When team members have different opinions and ideas, it can be challenging to find common ground. However, when conflict is managed well, it can lead to a deeper understanding of each person’s point of view. This understanding can lead to empathy and greater understanding of the unique work preferences and personality of other team members. Empathy is an essential skill in the workplace because it allows team members to connect with each other and work together more effectively.

Moreover, conflict can lead to diverse problem-solving skills. When team members have different perspectives, they can bring unique ideas to the table. By considering multiple viewpoints, teams can come up with creative solutions to complex problems. This diversity of thought can lead to innovation and better outcomes for the organization.

Making Better Decisions

The second surprising benefit of conflict in the workplace is that conflict leads to better decisions by allowing more information to be shared openly. When team members feel comfortable sharing their opinions, it can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the issue at hand. By considering multiple viewpoints, teams can make more informed decisions that take into account all relevant factors.

Leaders play a crucial role in creating a safe space for sharing diverse perspectives. They should model respectful debate and encourage team members to express their opinions openly. By doing so, leaders can leverage the benefits of conflict and ensure that all voices are heard.

Increasing Trust

The third surprising benefit of conflict in the workplace is that conflict increases trust. That may sound counterintuitive, but when task-focused conflict is handled respectfully, that shows respect for all ideas. When team members feel that their opinions are valued and respected, it can lead to a sense of trust among team members. This trust can lead to stronger relationships and better collaboration.

Building trust on a team is also important for leveraging the benefits of conflict. When team members trust each other, they are more likely to share their opinions openly and work together to find solutions. Leaders can build trust by creating a culture of respect and encouraging open communication.

Building Commitment

The fourth surprising benefit of conflict in the workplace is that conflict builds commitment. That sounds counterintuitive as well, but when every idea is considered, and the best idea wins, leading to a sense of being heard and understood. When team members feel that their opinions are valued and respected, they are more likely to be committed to the team’s goals. By considering every idea and choosing the best one, teams can build a sense of ownership and commitment among team members.

Leaders can build commitment by creating a culture of inclusivity and encouraging team members to share their ideas openly. By doing so, leaders can leverage the benefits of conflict and ensure that all team members are committed to the team’s goals.

Conflict in the workplace can be productive if managed well. Healthy conflict increases communication, trust, teamwork, and innovation. Leaders should create a safe space for sharing diverse perspectives and model respectful debate to leverage the benefits of conflict. Building trust on a team is also important for leveraging the benefits of conflict. By considering every idea and choosing the best one, teams can build a sense of ownership and commitment among team members. By leveraging the benefits of conflict, leaders can build teams where everyone can truly do their best work ever.


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HOME_AboutDavidBurkus

About the author

David Burkus is an organizational psychologist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of five books on leadership and teamwork.

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