Just Name It #1353 

by Sue Hawkes

Living in Minnesota is a wonderful thing…and it’s got interesting twists as well – and I’m not talking about the weather! People are not as direct in communication here, which can be a challenge.  

While delivering a keynote about team health, we were discussing the need for healthy conflict. One leader questioned me and asked if we could call it “challenge” instead of conflict. While I’m all about forwarding language, I encouraged him to call it what it is, conflict.  

Conflict, when about ideas, issues, and opportunities, is the pursuit of the best possible answer. It is the consolidation of many points of view and requires thinking. When done in a healthy way, it’s the difference between companies growing or stagnating, relationships thriving or becoming a façade, and teams winning or losing. 

With most teams, there’s simply not enough conflict. The best, most successful, effective teams have passionate, impactful discussions and debates which favorably alter the course of the leaders as well as the trajectory of the company. 

The same is true of people. We need conflict and feedback to improve. Without feedback or conflict, each of us is left to our own thinking, which is limited and skewed. Often, those closest to us reinforce our position which may not encourage growth or risk as those around you may not want to change or grow based on the challenges. 

The best companies and relationships learn how to have healthy conflict early and often. Without it, you’ll have more challenges than you’d like because you avoided conflict in words and action. 

Sue HawkesJust Name It #1353