Practical Knowledge Team Development

Get into the ring! On the value of the culture of argument.

Content of the article

When we support companies in the area of team development, we are often greeted with the message: "Actually, everything is fine with us. We just want to see if we can improve the little things!" The question of whether there is a lot of arguing in the team is often met with a relieved "No. Fortunately, we don't have any arguments. There are hardly any conflicts either."

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The value of constructive debate

Constructive arguing is an expression of trust

But this relief is deceptive. Because: A constructive culture of dispute and conflict is an expression of trust. Only those who are not afraid of being hurt will speak their mind openly. Only those who stand behind the cause will also stand up for it. Only those who are sure that mistakes are welcome will not be afraid to bring ideas into the team that have not yet been fully thought through.

In teams where there are no arguments or conflicts are addressed openly, there is often a lack of trust. But arguing is not just arguing. In a constructive culture of dispute and conflict, everyone has the common goal and the good of the team or the success of the cause in mind. The aim of a constructive dispute is to overcome differences and redefine a common denominator. Everyone in the team is seen as part of the solution.

Ways to a healthy dispute culture

How can leaders promote a healthy culture of conflict in the team?

  1. A protected space for constructive debate is regularly created.
  2. It is always about one topic.
  3. Before the debate begins, a common goal is defined.
  4. Rules of the game are defined, such as letting people talk.
  5. A moderator guides the debate and ensures that the rules of the game are observed.
  6. It is actively encouraged to look at a topic from different perspectives.
  7. Mitarbeiter werden z.B. mit Hilfe eines persönlichen Coachings dabei unterstützt, die eigene Konfliktfähigkeit auszubauen.

In conclusion the way the leader deals with conflict has a significant impact on the culture of the team. Only those who give constructive feedback themselves, communicate openly and trustingly and have a high level of conflict management skills will also have a positive influence on the dispute and conflict culture of their team.

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