If you are a leader at any level, if you want to run your team effectively and increase your collective performance, you must learn how to instigate dissent in a selective manner and embrace organizational conflict, in order to unearth the energies needed among your people to solve your most difficult challenges.

In other words, you must learn how to fight correctly the right fights – because IF you fight them wrong, you can do a lot of damage to your organization.

Disagreement can be extremely good - not for its own sake - but for the truths which it unearths.

Most businesses suppress conflict because managers don’t know how to deal with it effectively.

The ingredients that destroy good productive fights are formality, an unconscious search for harmony, and the wrong kind of respect for the boss.

Formality is like cancer to good decision-making.

Harmony is the antonym of conflict.

And respect for the boss has nothing to do with not agreeing with her.

On the contrary, the main ingredient in healthy productive conflict is being able to differentiate between cognitive conflict (ideological) and affective conflict (personal).

Cognitive ideological conflict lives in the world of ideas, concepts, and perspectives - which is the wealth of knowledge and experience that every team member brings to the table (facilitated by the team leader).

Affective personal conflict lives in the interpersonal world - which has nothing to do with effective problem solving and great decision-making (if it is true that the team leader must intensify the flames of conflict, it is also true that the leader must make sure that the conflict never becomes personal).

Pick a good fight, do it with dexterity, and produce big results.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to here from you - just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you would like future e-zines to be about - I'm listening.

Feel free to re-send this e-zine to your boss, to your employees, to your colleagues, etc.

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See you next month!
Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
March 2, 2010. Copyright: All rights reserved
Skills2Lead Ezine is published on the first Tuesday of every month

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