Have you ever been on a team on which everyone was always nice to each other? So nice in fact, it seems you rarely disagree?

A team who never disagrees might seem ideal. Your team might be getting things done. At the same time, though, you might want to look at what is not happening.

It is unusual for a team to always agree with each other about everything. It is often a sign of buried problems when a team is overly nice to each other. For me, I get curious when I find a team who is always harmonious.

Patrick Lencioni depicts conflict on a range:

Scale of conflict

On the left of the scale is where you find passivity. Teams who operate from this place rarely engage in conflict. On the far right is the destructive, mean-spirited conflict that can destroy a team.

In the middle is a line (the dashed line). High performing teams are continually trying to work just to the left of this line. When teams work in this zone, they do not hang on to problems.

Think of a time you didn’t agree with something that is being done or said on your team. If you didn’t speak your truth, what was the impact on you? You might choose to carry your truth in silence, which is why you don’t want to be on the passive end of this scale.

Teams who ‘cross the line’ (dashed line) head into a destructive form of conflict. Good teams will cross the line on occasion as they are human. However, they will recover and return to the left.

Do you have enough conflict

Do you have enough conflict on your team? When you attend meetings with, do they seem pleasant and nice? Or, is the team engaging in lively debate about issues?

If things are overly nice, your team might have a fear of conflict. To start to change this, you might want to work on trusting each other more. The vulnerable trust I talked about yesterday is the key to move healthy conflict and debate on your team.

You’ve got this.

Building Great Teams

Building Great Teams

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