Healthy Conflict

Proactive Response

Many people think conflict is negative and should be avoided at all costs. But, conflict proves that team members feel comfortable in their environment and desire growth. Leaders can handle conflict in a healthy way to promote positive resolution. Business and leadership expert Patrick Lencioni lays out principles of conflict management. 

Patrick Lencioni is the Founder and CEO of The Table Group. He speaks and writes about leadership and organizational health and consults to CEOs and their teams. Patrick is the author of 10 best-selling books including The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

Patrick said that if we avoid conflict, it can cause greater issues down the road. It’s better to deal with tensions head-on so a team can grow together.

In what ways have you experienced the negative effects of conflict that goes unaddressed? How did it affect you?
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How do you naturally handle conflict? Do you think your approach is healthy? Why or why not?
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Patrick emphasized that team members need to be on the same page about conflict—it’s a good thing. How do you view conflict? Why? What do you think your coworkers think of conflict?
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Patrick described leaders as Miners of Conflict. In other words, leaders should unearth conflict amongst coworkers and teach them how to deal with it. Leaders take on the role of a coach to guide employees toward resolution by rewarding those who handle conflict well and exercising patience. 

Would you describe yourself as a “Miner of Conflict”? Why or why not?
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What might be potential benefits of uncovering conflict in your team? What could be some consequences?
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How could you coach your team members through conflict? What’s one thing you could do this week to teach your team to not fear conflict?
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Conflict happens in all parts of life—and it’s good. Evaluate how you handle conflict this week. Ask other leaders or team members for feedback on how you approach disagreements. Come up with a strategy for when the next conflict arises in your team so you can coach them toward resolution.

To find out more about The Table Group, click here

You can find more teaching from Patrick Lencioni in the course Be a Curator of Corporate Culture.