A healthy conflict is one based on mutual respect and trust. Participants must be able to express their thoughts without being intimidated or belittled due to disagreements. Blame and pointing fingers are avoided; Instead, participants are able to express disagreements or problems constructively. This condition, which we call “unhealthy deal,” is one of the most annoying issues teams face and can lead to poor decision-making and team performance. Teams achieve exceptional performance by leveraging the complementary skills and knowledge of team members. However, this can only happen if team members are willing to listen to each other, challenge each other, and discuss each other while working together to find optimal solutions to the problems they face. In this chapter, we explore this issue and discuss team-building activities that have been successfully used to prevent unhealthy agreements. I recently read the term “unhealthy agreement” in W. Gibb Dyer`s book “Team Building: Proven Strategies for Improving Team Performance”. I immediately thought of the term groupthing and wondered if these two terms were synonymous. Unhealthy conflicts in the workplace can lead to team disruption, resentment, negativity, and ultimately increased staff turnover. Workplace managers need to learn to recognize and end unhealthy conflicts early.
Teams should be encouraged to discuss ideas without judging people, as their ideas may be different. Learning to recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy conflicts, and using healthy conflicts to improve a team`s strength can lead to a more harmonious workplace. With an unhealthy agreement, “teams (and team members) often take steps that are at odds with what they really want to do… (Dyer, 2013, 160). Similarly, people with groupthing can follow the team idea just to avoid conflict. In both cases, the team members realize that the idea is not good, but they remain silent. I`ve experienced several team mistakes as a result of unhealthy deals. Years ago, I knowingly silenced when my colleague made a decision about a project we were working on. When the project failed, my boss called me into her office and asked, “How is this going through you???? I said, “I knew it was a bad idea, but I didn`t want to fight again.” Then she shouted, “I`m going to pay you for the fight!” My teammate and I have generally achieved good results on our projects. but the road to victory has always been battered. In a healthy disagreement, the goal shouldn`t be to win or get the other person to change their mind and agree with you.
The goal should be to understand the other person`s point of view or point of view in order to find common ground and mutual understanding so that the two can move forward. One strategy to facilitate this is to ask questions; However, it is important that you actually listen to the answers in order to move towards understanding. Many of us are used to the idea that any conflict is bad and has negative consequences. In the United States, we have been conditioned to think that all arguments, regardless of subject, tone or attitude, should be avoided. However, not all conflicts are unhealthy. There is healthy conflict, and disagreements or productive debates can be a healthy mental exercise. In unhealthy conflicts, one person or group may try to assert their power over another by talking about them, blaming them, claiming their superiority, or belittling the other person with negative statements. Unhealthy conflicts rarely lead to a positive solution without the intervention of a neutral third party. .