I am such a fan of conflict at work! I think conflict is healthy, it can facilitate great ideas, it can spark meaningful debate, it can help a team move forward-I’m all about it!! We all know that conflict at work has to be navigated carefully though.
I’m the kind of person that’s always ready to hash out ideas and refocus the group on the big picture goals when we are trying to determine the best way to do something (even if it means the team is going to exchange some words).
The problem with conflict at work is when it goes wrong. The worst thing I think you can do when having some healthy conflict at work is to yell.
Maybe that’s your style at home. Maybe you are a loud person like myself. Maybe you just like to yell. Yelling at work in the middle of some healthy conflict is bad.
Not only is it bad for solving the immediate problem, its bad for your reputation. Once you’ve been “the yeller” no one talks about how the conflict was resolved or what the rest of the group agreed. Now the focus on the story is “Gertrude YELLED about Shelley not cleaning the toilet properly and then it all went down hill from there.”
Now, you are the yeller.
Think about every conflict at work story you have experience with. When someone yelled that overshadowed the whole situation didn’t it? Maybe the conflict was resolved, maybe the team eventually moved forward, but NO ONE forgets that you yelled.
Don’t be the yeller.