Tension and conflict is at the heart of teamwork

Tension and conflict is at the heart of teamwork

Tension and conflict isn’t the antithesis of teamwork. It’s the purpose of it. I firmly believe that a level of healthy tension is central for business problem solving, innovation and collaboration and critical to outperformance. I’m sure that’s why diverse groups of talent create such incredible outcomes. But the right kind of tension is all-important – neither nasty-girls nor yes-men create truly outstanding results. Liane Davey (quoted above) recently gave an interesting interview at Wharton University on her book, The Good Fight. How do you qualify a healthy conflict at work? Davey: I look at it at three levels. At the organization level, it’s a good fight if it helps you get through it and get to an outcome that’s good for the business. At the level of the team, it’s a good fight if it strengthens trust among the team members, instead of eroding it. And then personally, it’s a good fight if, at the end of the day, you go home and look yourself in the mirror, and you’re proud of yourself. Those things make a good fight.

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>>What do you think? Is workplace tension healthy or unhealthy?

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