Some of the best meetings that I’ve been in lately are the ones where members of the leadership team challenge each other. There’s debate and pushback and the discussions are heated. Each person is actively engaged putting the greater good of the organization ahead of personal agendas. Sometimes the feedback they give each other stings a little. But, when the dust settles there’s clarity around the root cause. Conflict creates clarity.
Think about your meetings. Are you comfortable with conflict? What do you do when things begin to heat up? Do you attempt to smooth things over? Have you found yourself playing the peace maker? Don’t do it.
It takes a while for a team to come together. Within the EOS meeting pulse, conflict is bound to happen sooner than later. Why? Because every week you’re in a structured meeting where the objective is to solve issues (the real ones) and get things done. There’s no place to hide. You can’t solve the real issues without some conflict – a willingness to go deep, to “enter the danger”. Conflict, although messy, is all about going deep.
Too often we seek harmony when we should be creating some conflict. Don’t be afraid of a little conflict, embrace it. Conflict creates clarity. Without clarity over the underlying issue, we’re at risk of making poor decisions. And, as Patrick Lencioni points out in his book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, healthy conflict is a necessary step towards gaining commitment.