The Key to Healthy Conflict
A Facebook follower says, “I’d love to see a Leadership Freak blog post that addresses what healthy conflict looks like.”
Organizations pivot on conflict. Conflict strengthens or weakens relationships and organizations.
All healthy conflict has a “for.”
For or against:
Conflict often begins by fighting against something. Listen for expressions like:
- I don’t like.
- He always…
- I don’t want.
- Enflames passion by focusing on offenses.
- Engages in personal attack.
- Invites defensiveness.
Healthy conflict fights for something. Develop phrases like:
- I want.
- My goal is…
- What does a win look like?
Successful leaders clarify wins when conflict begins.
- Requires courage and vulnerability to declare yourself. Stop speaking for others. Speak for yourself.
- Defines success in behavioral terms. Be simple and specific.
- Defines success in organizational terms. How will “we” be better?
- Means starting fresh. Healthy conflict moves agendas forward. Moving forward means letting go of the past.
- Calls for alignment with organizational values, mission, and vision.
Unhealthy conflict only fights against. Healthy conflict knows what wins look like.
Bonus: Read comments about healthy conflict on Facebook.
What does healthy conflict look like?