There is no such thing as a conflict-free work environment – disagreements are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of relating to other people.

One of the reasons why teams don’t reach their full potential is because they are afraid to disagree, hurt people’s feelings or just lack courage to voice their opinion.

Here is what a healthy conflict leads to:

Better Outcomes

When co-workers push each other to seek a better approach, there is bound to be creative friction. Synthesizing diverse perspectives can lead to disagreements, but they help you weigh your pros and cons that eventually result in finding the best solutions.

Building relationships

Healthy conflict where teams can be honest with each other and work against a problem, as opposed to each other, helps strengthen relationships. Eventually as they overcome conflicts together, they become more comfortable in expressing their honest disagreements and become stronger as a team.

Less politics

In an environment where teams trust each other enough to freely convey their opinion there is no room for politics. Everyone can confront each other knowing that it is in the best interest of the business and there is no hidden agendas.

Better Preparation

Knowing that people are not afraid to disagree with your point of view ensures that you put in the best effort and research in your argument. You will consider more than one perspective and have answers that are well thought through to counter all possible objections. 

Healthy conflict where teams can be honest with each other and work against a problem, as opposed to each other, helps strengthen relationships

With that in mind, how can one encourage healthy conflict at workplace:

Lead by example

Model a conflict positive attitude, tackle issues head on and show how you can present an alternate opinion in a mature manner. Encourage people to voice their opinion by not dismissing or criticizing their point of view.

Work on your emotional intelligence

The ability to be emotionally intelligent is crucial to dealing with conflict. Confrontation and disagreements may trigger anger or annoyance which you must be able to regulate. Not being carried away with your own emotions and focusing on the solution is key.

Set aside biases and start with a positive assumption

Giving the disagreeing person the benefit of doubt and believing that their intention is to have the best solution. Not letting your personal bias against this person impact their credibility for the argument is important.

Support your co-workers voice their opinion

If you feel as though someone in the team has a valid point, support them, encourage them to speak up even if it slows the decision making process.

Be calm and respectful

How you deliver the message is perhaps the most common problem in disagreements. Communicate your views in a calm and honest way without upsetting yourself or insulting others.


While many of us go to great lengths to avoid conflict, embracing healthy conflict can challenge old assumptions, bring about positive change and strengthen relationships.

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