Patrick Lencioni writes about the dysfunctions of a team – at the base of his pyramid is the absence of trust and the next foundation layer is the fear of conflict. We completely concur with his claims and refer regularly to his work in our programs.
Trust gives people that feeling of safeness and belonging. They have a level of confidence in how their team mates are going to show up and behave. The propensity to “be” vulnerable with each other is greatly increased. People are far more inclined to share what they are really thinking and feeling with each other. As a result, politics and passivity stop and your team is more efficient and engaged resulting in sustainable high performance.
When trust is high people are more inclined to step toward or even ignite conflict. They may never “like” conflict however they won’t “fear” it! This is a critical differentiator. When trust is high and people are being real with each other then we WILL have conflict – people bring different thinking, different views and opinions – and this is good. The trick is to fill your leadership tool box with useful tools to resolve conflict constructively; and to develop the emotional resilience to sit with the discomfort of conflict. Finding ways to stay in “flow” rather than choosing the impulsive “fight” or “flight” options that commonly attract us during times of conflict.