Monday, January 17, 2011

Great Teamwork Comes From Conflict

Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas.
 -Donatella Versace

Humans dislike conflict. Some of us go to great lengths to avoid conflict at all costs. Too often we think it is destructive, or at least counter-productive. We often assume that disagreement means that there is discord. But the reality is that conflict is vital toward creating exceptional solutions and performance. Effective conflict also creates understanding and mutual cooperation along the way. Conflict is vital in business, as well as life. Conflict is the most important phase of communication, and it is when communication can be most productive. It is when resolutions occur and solutions are created.

Ideally speaking, conflict within a team arises when there is a difference in ideas. This is certainly ideal because a team with a balanced member culture will have varying or even conflicting ideas on how to approach and solve challenges. What is not ideal is when all team members always initially agree on all issues. That suggests that the team is not fully considering and testing all available scenarios, options and approaches.

Below is a great YouTube video called “The Secrets to High Performing Teams”, summarizing research performed by Assistant Professor Kristin Behfar at the University of California, Irvine. The video was produced by and hosted at It is a magnificent piece for anyone that is a part of a team or leads a team in life or business (that means most of us).


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