Conflict is essential to a team’s creative collaboration. Without difference of opinion, there’s no synthesis of ideas or debate about important issues. But when conflict is mismanaged, it destroys creative collaboration.
Keep conflict productive by establishing ground rules in advance for working through disagreements. Give team members two options: confront conflict and handle it-or let it go. Agree to put issues on the table as soon as they arise. When feedback raises tempers, don’t rush to cool things down. Instead, arrange team members physically to keep things from getting personal: put issues and ideas on a whiteboard and seat people around it in a semicircle so they’re allied against the conflict, not each other.