If asked, most managers would probably answer that a conflict at the office is not something they would want to tolerate.
Upon the mention of any disagreement, most people imagine screaming, fighting and disruption to regular work proceedings.
However, workplace disagreements don’t have to have a negative connotation, and can actually pose several benefits to the corporate culture, such as:
Prevent Huge Blowouts
Some leaders enforce a no conflict policy that does not allow employees to discuss and air their grievances out in the open.
This is not the wisest rule because most people are aware that issues do not just go away; instead, they get bigger and bigger until the person or people involved can’t handle them anymore, and then they explode, leading to huge blowouts.
To prevent this, allowing a healthy disagreement to take place is a better strategy than an all out war.
By encouraging your staff to communicate any problems they may have in a healthy way, you will help them to prevent big disturbances in the office.
If you ask your team members for their opinions on possible advertising campaigns for your brand, and they all provide the same answer, they are probably just not interested or simply don’t care.
There are typically as many opinions as there are people involved, and those various opinions can often lead to a debate.
Instead of stopping it, you should view it as a chance for your workers to engage with each other and with you, voicing their opinions.
If your employees will be too afraid to speak up because they want to avoid conflict, you may end up picking a poor campaign.
Another benefit of a workplace disagreement is that it can promote communication in the office.
Typically, most employees sit at their desks and concentrate on their workloads day in and day out.
However, if a topic comes up, such as politics, most everyone has an opinion about that.
This can encourage people that don’t usually interact to speak up and get to know each other.
This can go a long way in creating relationships amongst your staff, eventually leading to more unity and productivity.
It is important to understand that conflict can also cause a lot of disadvantages.
Therefore, it is important to alert your staff that while healthy disagreements are encouraged, name calling, yelling or becoming violent will not be tolerated.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 3 February, 2016
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