The key word here is 'productive'! PRODUCTIVE conflict - conflict that takes place in a bubble of trust, conflict that occurs as a result of you feeling safe to say what you truly think and feel, conflict that propels those involved towards a solution to a problem - it's this type of conflict that's essential to growing any relationship; whether it's in the context of marriage, friendship or even (especially) business and team dynamics.⠀
It's important to differentiate between ideological conflict; conflict around ideas and strategies, what the best move forward is, what your opinion is on topic X etc, and interpersonal conflict, which manifests in the form of personal attacks and personality focused issues. One is healthy and productive, the other is unhealthy and destructive. ⠀
What makes that differentiation difficult at times is that both forms of conflict can feel very similar - people get passionate and emotional, frustrated and at times even heated, and because of this - leaders or team members that find confrontation difficult, or uncomfortable, (or simply lack the emotional energy to engage) will often minimize opportunities for conflict or shut it down altogether.⠀
The unfortunate byproduct of a lack of conflict is ultimately a lack of commitment and buy in. People that don't feel heard, or don't feel that their opinion matters, will eventually look to leave the organization or in the context of relationship - call time and move on!⠀
The first step to developing the ability to engage in healthy, productive conflict is to recognize that even though many individuals and teams have a tendency to avoid it - it is absolutely necessary - and rather than being a sign of dysfunction, it is in fact one of THE key indicators that an organization or relationship is functioning well.