To have fewer conflicts, disagree more

Disagree to have fewer conflicts

To have fewer conflicts, disagree more. Yes, really.

So many organisations talk about “Conflict Resolution” around issues and relationships in the workplace. The thing is, conflict is such a strong word, with synonyms such as “war”, “battle”, “struggle”, “clash”, “combat”. Even the words sound exhausting and difficult.

A recent piece I read on methods of Conflict Resolution brought me back to this definition of a team that thrives and gets results:

“a group of disagreeable people aligned around a common intention”

Travis Carson of Market Force

Market Force has a wonderful model called the Breakdown recovery model (see image) that I wrote about in depth in: “Teams of disagreeable people“.

At the heart of this, if we call each disagreement a breakdown, each one is an opportunity for a breakthrough. The counter-intuitive key to this is that “successful teams have frequent breakdowns”, hence a team is a group of people willing to disagree and then learn and move forward, hence “disagreeable people”.

If we look at disagreeing and breakdowns as issues rather than opportunities, our human tendency will be to avoid addressing them. Do that enough and what you end up with is, you got it, conflicts. Far easier to address a breakdown right away than wait until it escalates into a conflict that then has to be resolved.


Also published on Medium.