The word “conflict” has a negative connotation. It evokes feelings of meanness, rude behavior, struggle, and more. In the workplace, conflict can cause an uncomfortable environment; one where everyone tiptoes on eggshells around each other.

But, this doesn’t have to be the case. In her Harvard Business Review article, “Why We Should Be More Disagreeing at Work,” Amy Gallo states:

Disagreements are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of relating to other people. There is no such thing as a conflict-free work environment. You might dream of working in a peaceful utopia, but it wouldn’t be good for your company, your work, or you. In fact, disagreements — when managed well — have lots of positive outcomes.

Some of the positive outcomes of a well-managed disagreement include:

  • Creativity and improved work products
  • Growth and learning
  • Better relationships with co-workers
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • A more inclusive work environment

Some of these outcomes may seem counterintuitive to conflict or disagreements, but as stated above, when they are well-managed – using empathy and respect – the results are a positive, constructive work environment instead of toxic workplace.

 

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