team building corporate management conflict

Embrace Conflict To Be A Better Manager

Ask any business person who’s worked up the ranks to Chief Executive Officer, and they’ll tell you that building a successful company begins by creating a solid foundation among staff members. That occurs once a team can work together with a high degree of trust. So how exactly do you capitalize on creating a high-trust environment in your workplace? You create conflict!

Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team has said, “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.” When a team can work thru conflicts that arise in the workplace, they lay the groundwork for trust, problem solving, and accountability.

Focus on Trust to Activate Healthy Conflict

Vulnerability is quite possibly the number one reason your team isn’t making significant gains. The reasoning is simple: No one clocks in for the day ready to let their inadequacies surface at the morning staff meeting. As a result, group members tend to spend a significant amount of time attempting to save face in front of their team rather than focusing on the task at hand.

Conflict fosters a healthy discourse among staff members that paves the way for teams to build an interpersonal trust. This authentic, vulnerability-based trust allows staff to feel safe when asking for help, accepting input, and admitting shortcomings. A February 2016 publication of The New York Times Magazine entitled “What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team” stated that, “Google’s data indicated that psychological safety, more than anything else, was critical to making a team work.” When a team has reached this level of trust, you’ll see an immediate increase in productivity. It will take time, but the results are more than worth it for your organization!

Conflict Leads to Problem Solving. Problem Solving Leads to Results

Teams are not void of conflict. Differences in personality, opinion, and values among group members can lead to disagreements in how to accomplish a given task. However, many business leaders fail their staff when they attempt to stifle disagreements as a means of steering clear of drama.

On the contrary, conflict is extremely productive! When teams are free to engage in healthy conflict, they’re able to reach the best solutions in the shortest amount of time. Allowing resolution to happen naturally and in a trusting environment, gives staffers the freedom to engage in problem solving strategies without any collateral damage.

Conflict Leads to Accountability

A team that fails to hold its own members accountable, is not a team at all. In fact, teams can only exist when members hold each other to a high standard. They understand the benefits of peer-to-peer accountability far outweigh the momentary discomforts associated with confronting a fellow teammate.

In fact, regular and honest communication among team members will help to identify problems within the group much more quickly. To better serve your team, clearly identify team expectations publicly and avoid ambiguity.

As you can see, a little conflict will go a long way in building a strong foundation for your business. Embrace conflict as a means of building trust, obtaining quality results, and team-based accountability. When you do, you’ll see your business thrive!

If you’d like to embrace trust and positive conflict, contact us at