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.
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.