Print Icon

Your Weekly Leadership HVA (High Value Activity)

Hello Lifelong Learner ...

Here's the next in our series of weekly managerial TIPS (Techniques, Insights, and Practical Solutions) to help you better engage your team in the activities that lead to higher performance.

CORE Bites #26: If you're a manager of people, then you're well aware that conflict is a part of life ... and definitely a part of any diverse, goal-driven business unit. The reality is business is a full-contact sport, so conflict is inevitable. Conflict occurs when people disagree or have differing views on topics. But not all conflict is bad. Good GREAT managers recognize the difference between healthy and destructive conflict.

Destructive conflict occurs when people make it personal and become antagonistic or insolent in their tone and/or language, or refuse to speak to each other altogether. Destructive conflict between two people can bring down the morale of an entire team and reduce overall productivity and efficiency. This will be the topic of next week's CORE Bites (Issue #27).

This week we'll address healthy (constructive) conflict. Healthy conflict embraces differing ideas, perspectives and opinions in an effort to move the team/company forward toward its goals and mission. This type of conflict increases productivity — rather than hindering it — and is worth promoting to help open the eyes of team members to new views, opinions and ways of doing things.

High Value Activity (HVA) Action Step: Here are a few HVA action steps you can take to promote (and subsequently manage) healthy conflict:

  • Make Collaboration an Expectation: Collaboration must be communicated to team members as a core principle of effective teamwork (and a nonnegotiable). Encourage each team member (both privately and publicly) to offer opinions/ideas/perspectives in meetings. Work on communication skills to help employees articulate a point clearly (and tactfully), and develop a listening-friendly team environment to help team members better understand the perspectives/opinions of others.
  • Replace “You” Language with “I” Language: Have you ever thought about how you feel when someone begins a sentence with “You should ...” or “You always ...?” Many people find this puts them on the defensive. But, have you also noticed when someone starts a sentence with “I feel ...” or “I wonder if ...” you're generally more receptive? Encourage “I” language within your team to defuse any potential defensiveness.
  • If We Don't Change, We Can't Grow: Any change requires movement. And movement means friction (remember basic physics?). So, if you're experiencing any change (and who isn't?), then you need to create a safe environment for all divergent views to be expressed. Make sure every voice is heard! Ask open-ended questions until you're satisfied that all views have been expressed.
  • We're Seeking Understanding, Not Necessarily Agreement: To ensure your employees are comfortable with 'healthy conflict' make certain they recognize the purpose is to understand other viewpoints, rather than to convince others that 'my' viewpoint is the correct one. Encourage curiosity and healthy/constructive debate.
  • Recognize the Difference Between Healthy and Destructive Conflict: While healthy conflict is necessary for greater innovation, efficiency, and productivity, if an employee becomes too emotionally connected to the discussion, or if another team member uses demeaning or derogatory language, the 'healthy' part of healthy conflict can quickly spiral out of control and become 'destructive.' Watch for subtle clues (foreshadowing) that have the potential to escalate into big problems (and then act!). [More about this next week ...]

I'd love to hear how this HVA works for you!

Have a brilliant day ... and enjoy the journey!


Neil Dempster, PhD, MBA

RESULTant and Behavioral Engineer

"Conflict, when handled correctly, strengthens."

Benjamin Watson 

Looking for previous issues of CORE Bites HVAs? Go to our Archives Repository.

An online version of this CORE Bites HVA (current issue) can be viewed here.


GDPR Authenticity Information (the legal stuff):

Clearview Performance Systems, Inc.

24573 N 119th Pl, Scottsdale, AZ 85255 USA

Authorized Representative: Neil Dempster

Email Address:  


This leadership tip was sent by to

To unsubscribe from the CORE Bites weekly leadership HVA: Unsubscribe