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Healthy conflict will lift performance. But it's essential to create the right environment for it.

When I tell people in my workshops that conflict is essential if teams are to perform well and be highly productive, it always provokes frowns and an uncomfortable shifting of chairs.

“Do you mean that?” They ask. “Could we just say ‘strong conversations’ or ‘spirited debate’?”

Teams without conflict make poor decisions, don’t get buy-in from all members, choose safety over innovation and have boring meetings.

They tend to be so risk-averse that the most dangerous phrase in business becomes their mantra: “We’ve always done it this way, let’s not rock the boat.”

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