Conflict Can Be Constructive
Conflict is not something to avoid in the workplace – as long as you manage it effectively. No decisions are made with complete certainty, so some honest disagreement about the best course to follow is inevitable. In the new book, Harvard Business Review on Building Better Teams (Harvard Business Review Press/Available in May), contributors Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Jean L. Kahwajy and L.J. Bourgeois III offer insight on pursuing the “good fight” – disagreement that encourages teams to come up with beyond-the-obvious solutions that deliver on business objectives. “The challenge – familiar to anyone who has ever been part of a management team – is to keep constructive conflict over issues from degenerating into dysfunctional interpersonal conflict,” they write, “to encourage managers to argue without destroying their ability to work as a team.” Eisenhardt, Kahwajy and Bourgeois base their observations upon close research of a dozen top management teams in tech-based companies. For more about the book, click here.