Enter the danger

May 12, 2021
Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels

In the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni tells us that when teams fear conflict, an artificial harmony will lead to a lack of commitment around the team’s objectives.

“When people don’t unload their opinions and feel they’ve been listened to, they won’t really get on board,” he says.

The kind of conflict he’s referring to, however, isn’t personal. It’s not the conflict of eye-rolling, veiled jabs, or judgments.

It’s the ability to base what you say on what you really think rather than how you want others to react.

Creative conflict is based on trust, trust that you can say what you believe to your teammates.

It’s fostered in an environment where it’s OK to get a little uncomfortable. “If it’s not a little uncomfortable, then it’s not real,” Lencioni says.

As leaders, we can create this by entering the danger ourselves, by leading by example, and not avoiding the difficulties for the sake of artificial harmony.


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