How is your team functioning? Having conflict? Well, that can be far better than having no conflict in the room and lots of “after the meeting” meetings! Respectful conflict and debate are healthy and necessary for the best decision making and for team alignment around those decisions. Lack of conflict indicates mistrust and fear–which shuts down effective problem solving and results in misalignment that ripples throughout the organization.
To build trust and create more honest discourse, try these steps:
- Create together a shared list of “agreements for engagement” that include honest, respectful disagreement and post these agreements in your meeting room.
- Model curiosity. Ask for more info; ask for the reasoning behind a suggestion.
- Thank team members who share a mistake or ask a “stupid” question.
- Ask for an alternate view.
- If no one expresses an alternate view, assign someone to argue the opposite view. This approach often reveals information that was not apparent previously.
- Ask each team member to give a verbal agreement to the decision and if relevant, how they will act on it with their direct reports to their teams.
If your team is stuck, misaligned and/or not having open discussions, consider Team Coaching.
Marjorie R. Johnson, LCSW, PCC, Certified Team Coach Practitioner, Global Team Coach Institute