In the first post of our 5 part series, you learned trust is the foundation of every successful team. Without trust, nothing else can be effective with team building. That is right. If you do not have trust, nothing else is going to work. Do you think there is trust? How can you be sure? Read the previous post on trust to find out.

You have vulnerability-based trust. Now what?

Once a team truly trusts each other, they are ready for the second essential of a high-functioning team.

Grow through positive conflict

We all come from different personal and career experiences shaping our thoughts on conflict. When I say you need positive conflict, what do you think and feel? Do you cringe? Do you want to run from conflict, feeling any conflict is considered bad?

Personally, my experience with conflict was not good for most of my life, but I have learned it was not positive conflict, but rather more about the individual or ego winning, than the true positive, team building, conflict where real growth happens.

Positive conflict has a formula

As a team, positive conflict must be focused on your mission, vision, and values – centered around ideas and issues relating to them.

Positive conflict = MV2+ I2 (Mission + Vision + Values + Ideas + Issues)

Think of the last business conflict you experienced. Did it follow the formula? Was there passion and disagreement centered around your mission, vision, and values? Did you keep the dialogue centered on ideas and issues relating to the challenge?

Or, did the team seem to revert back to middle school playground days of “my mom is prettier than your mom,” and “my dad could beat up your dad?” Yes, I censored these examples. The middle school playground was a bit harsher than this.

If your last business conflict was passionate but centered around your mission, vision, and values, that’s where true trust and growth happen. The team is willing to bring up ideas and issues immediately so they can work through any potential roadblocks ahead of time.

Avoid negative conflict

Conflict can easily go astray without the formula, or when an individual ego takes control over the team goals.

If your last business meeting had a negative conflict, the dialogue was likely centered around personal attacks, or an individual was pushing for a personal agenda to win for themselves.

Another form of negative conflict is when someone keeps bringing up the same points to try to sway the team. This scenario is known as politicking. It is okay to bring up new points and clarify what was originally said, but it is not okay to keep repeating the same points to try to win the discussion to satisfy your own ego and desires.

The last form of negative conflict we discuss is artificial harmony. Some teams may seem like a well-oiled machine where everyone agrees and no one argues in a group setting. However, what often happens is no one wants to bring up a concern in the meeting, but they will complain and talk negatively about the people or issues outside of that meeting.

Positive conflict is necessary for any high performing team

Watch this clip on how we teach positive conflict and its necessity for building strong teams. (You may have to turn your sound all the way up).

How would you rate the health of your team on the topic of conflict?

Stay tuned for part 3 of our series addressing the 5 essentials of a team to learn how positive conflict leads to true commitment.

Find Your Professional Coaching Partner

Ready to take the next step to build the foundation of trust and true positive conflict that leads to high-performing teams? Not sure where to start or how to build the 5 essentials of a team? Partner-up with us for higher productivity and employee engagement.