One of the biggest takeaways I had from my first quarter was a few ideas around conflict. We typically think conflict is a bad ingredient to have in a team situation. People end up fighting, feelings are hurt, team performance is effected, and the task grinds to a halt. However, conflict does have its place, it’s just not the interpersonal type. It is the type that challenges ideas, opinions and hypothesis.
When people start agreeing. Get worried. Conflict is essential. Ideas, hypothesis, theories need to be challenged before they proceed. This is where the power of team diversity steps in. Empowering those in the minority to voice their opinions ensures consensus is not too easily reached. There involvement may not sway the end result, but at least the team will have more confidence in their decision or action taken. Sometimes the mere presence of someone who is not from the ‘in-group’ alters the behavior (for the better) of those within it. Critical thinking is heightened.