Fear of Conflict
Fear of conflict is one of the five team dysfunctions. In this case, team members do not engage in conflict even when it is critical to team success. Rather they form internal alliances and use team politics to force decisions while not encouraging other team members to share their opinions and insights.
When to use
When team performance and cohesion is lacking, analyse the team for the five dysfunctions. If there is fear of conflict, apply the corrective actions to overcome this fear.
To address the team dysfunction of Fear of Conflict, you must be able to recognize this condition. The table below contrasts the fear of conflict with the encouragement of positive conflict by team members.
Tools for Overcoming the Fear of Conflict
The following tools are commonly used by teams to overcome the fear of conflict.
- Experiential team activities. Mining: team member seeks to uncover hidden conflict.
- Real Time Permission: Encouraging people when in the midst of a conflict to stay engaged and that this conflict is good and needed.
- Personality tests such as DISC or Myers Briggs that identify where differences are likely to lead to conflict.
- Thomas Kilmann conflict modes.
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