Is it OK to have conflict amongst team members?

Managing the workforce and creating a team out of a diverse group of people is challenging.
Employees, especially the millennials, are keen to work and sustain jobs that appreciate
their contributions and where their efforts bear fruit. Working with teams can prove to be
challenging since members can have conflicting opinions and different ways of approaching
a specific target or work.
Gaston Dsouza is India’s leading corporate trainer and is a master at compering corporate
events too. He says “Conflict in itself isn’t such a bad thing, as long as it is handled
competently and helps the team in moving towards a more productive situation”. Let us find
out if it is ok for team members to have conflict and how does conflict look like at the
workplace.
Is there anything like Good conflict or Bad conflict?
Conflict at the workplace can be a wonderfully productive thing for any team. When thoughts
and ideas are discussed in a manner that doesn’t discourage employees from speaking their
heart or debating, can be called positive conflict. It needs a trusting work environment for
people to discuss things and speak fearlessly without being judged about their opinions and
thoughts. While some ideas may sound perfect, others may not make sense. However,
accepting both and not shutting them out is necessary if the organization wants to promote
brainstorming and positive discussions.
When employees sit together to sort out an issue or resolve work issues, it will need positive
conflict situations to be fostered, so that employees do not feel awkward about
confrontations. Although conflict may seem to be uncomfortable, it has the potential to
resolve issues and subsequently move on to positive and productive situations. Things do
not fester in the employees’ mind for long when they are discussed openly as they are dealt
with maturity and with an open mind.
How can you identify positive or healthy team conflict?
Here is a list of questions that should be asked to deduce if team conflict is healthy or not:
 Is the conflict help solve an issue?
 Do employees respect each other?
 What is the level of competition between employees?
 Are fresh ideas being presented or debated during a conflicting situation?
 Does the discussion follow certain rules or is it turning into a free-for-all?
 Are employees able to arrive at a positive conclusion at the end of the discussion?

Top corporate Trainer and master of ceremony Gaston Dsouza feel that conflict that
doesn’t have a real issue as its base can do more harm and become counter-productive to
your team. It is important to ensure that healthy conflict should be about real issues which
will improve team dynamics in one way or another.

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