iD magazine - - Body & Mind -

Con­flicts oc­cur ev­ery­where in our ev­ery­day lives— and are es­pe­cially com­mon­place in the work­place. They are be­lieved to cost busi­nesses money and cause de­mo­ti­va­tion. That’s rea­son enough for many com­pa­nies to curb con­flict as quickly as pos­si­ble. Con­flict man­agers might be con­sulted and de-es­ca­la­tion strate­gies uti­lized. But, does con­flict ac­tu­ally harm mo­ti­va­tion? Not nec­es­sar­ily. In fact, con­flict can ac­tu­ally drive em­ploy­ees to per­form bet­ter. But it has to be the “right” type of con­flict: Psy­chol­o­gists dis­tin­guish be­tween “re­la­tion­ship con­flict” and “task con­flict.” In re­la­tion­ship con­flicts, the mo­ti­va­tion curve drops very rapidly in peo­ple who do not get along with each other due to per­son­al­ity clashes. On the other hand, task con­flicts, such as dis­agree­ments about how and why a plan should be im­ple­ment, can lead to an in­crease in mo­ti­va­tion among em­ploy­ees. Stud­ies show that con­flict and dis­cus­sions en­cour­age mem­bers of a team to de­lib­er­ate more thor­oughly. They can truly weigh the al­ter­na­tives rather than push for a hasty agree­ment.

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