Are you Loving Conflict?
I didn’t always appreciate the greatness that comes from team conflict. I’ve always preferred a passive work environment, but have learned that non-personal conflict can be helpful in creating an innovative team.
I recently read about the Wu-Tang Clan who is arguably one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time. Formed in the 1990s, its members were, in terms of temperament and taste, not to mention age, highly diverse. These differences generated creative friction, of course, but they ultimately resulted in groundbreaking lyrics and beats that capitalized on the diversity within the group. As a member of the group, RZA, put it: “When steel rubs against steel, it makes both blades sharper.”
I’m in no way suggesting a team should be disrespectful or unprofessional. Instead we should all come to the team with a common goal understanding that those who think, work, and behave different from us is a good thing – and should be embraced. I currently work in a team where we live and breath this dynamic. As a result, it’s not perfect – but it’s most definitely an environment of new ideas and constant maturation and growth.
What do you think about the pros and cons of conflict?