How to Build Constructive Conflict into Your Team

It is never too soon to start building the foundation of constructive conflict into your team(s), to harness that creative power as well as preempt potential negative conflict.

Bottom-line reason? Conflict is one of the most powerful tools teams can have. Harnessing constructive conflict creates an exciting environment of innovation, forward momentum and productivity. Negative outcomes from conflict emerge when it is ignored.

How do you, as a leader, go about building this foundation for your team(s)?

Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI®) In our work with leaders and teams, we often use the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI®). It is a self-report assessment that allows you to discover your (and your team members’) particular way of approaching conflict. The TKI® instrument has been the worldwide leader in this area for almost 40 years, so you can be confident that it's a tool that has withstood the rugged test of time.

Sample Team Results

Sample Team Results

The reason the TKI tool is so important is that awareness of these behaviors can go a long way to understanding our individual ways of handling a group situation, as well as what mode others in the group might be tapping into. This is a huge step in building the mutual understanding, trust and openness which creates the basis of a strong team that works with conflict to their advantage.

Innovation Estimator  Here’s another great tool: Innovation Estimator™. This is a FREE opportunity for you to assess where your team falls on the conflict continuum, and what a team with well-managed conflict looks like. We’ve created this unique (and easy-to-use) tool from years of experience and research data, so you can use the results to understand your team and build its strengths accordingly.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the TKI® Instrument or Innovation Estimator™ -- I’m happy to chat with you, so just click here to schedule a conversation.