Luis had finally had it. After months of feeling under attack by Josie, he called in sick for the third time that month. Feeling exhausted and drained, he began to compose his letter of resignation.

When poorly managed or left to escalate, conflict has a tremendous impact on the workplace. Lost time (and thus productivity and money), absenteeism and turnover are often the symptoms of workplace clashes gone awry.

There is a positive side to conflict. In fact, it is inevitable that teams and organizations will have conflict. They actually NEED conflict in order to maximize their effectiveness and avoid mediocrity and stagnation.

There is a sweet spot to conflict. Too much is chaotic and creates an unstable, even threatening, work environment. Too little conflict suggests that issues may be buried, though they aren’t really gone. They’re subterranean and very much alive. Buried conflict may not grow right away, but some people keep score, just waiting for the next thing that will cause them to explode.

Conflict, unlike wine, does not get better with age. So if you sense a “disturbance in the force,” bring it up. Don’t give conflict a chance to go underground where permanent damage will occur.

If you can’t remember the last time your team disagreed on something, then the topic is, “WHY?!” and then “What can we do to shake things up a bit around here?” Diversity of perspectives and opinions ensures richer results in the end, so allow conflict to transform your team and bring out its best.

You’ll find productive conflict to be richer and more fruitful if you know how to listen to understand. Here’s a refresher. Here, too!


Having trouble getting some or dealing with conflict? Tell us all about it, and we’d love to help.

Photo from pexels.com.