How To Use Constructive Conflict To Solve Problems

How To Use Constructive Conflict To Solve Problems

How To Use Constructive Conflict To Solve Problems 2

In constructive conflict, ideas are subjected to the heat of discussion and the blows of contention until a practical solution emerges. Constructive conflict not only helps to surface new ideas, but also to thrust them forward. This discipline revolves around challenging opposing positions. As we do this, our unshaped ideas are hammered into the form of potential solutions. In this wise, how to use creative conflict to solve problems, deserves attention.

More, constructive conflict stimulates creative thinking, not some perverted satisfaction gained from fighting. It helps us to validate our theories, as we sort through the strengths and weaknesses of each. Again, it encourages us to be more original in our thinking, promotes teamwork, awareness, and concept buy-in.

How To Use Constructive Conflict To Solve Problems Unfurls

1. Assess The Emotional Climate Of Your Organisation

This honest appraisal starts you ensuring that your company’s culture supports contesting each other’s ideas, without creating emotional scars. It is good for senior leadership to encourage participation, not hammer down opposing ideas. Constructive conflict works well in a company where employees share a strong sense of a shared purpose.

2. Establish The Objective To Get To The Truth Or Correct Answers

Contesting each other’s ideas serves to get at the truth, not to win a point. The goal should always be to get at the correct answers, no matter who possesses them. Following on, establishing clear goals hallmarks how to use constructive conflict to solve problems.

3. Keep It Lively And Civil

A loss of civility is never part of this process. Encourage the art of arguing without getting angry. Ensure that everyone participating in a constructive conflict understands the difference between arguing and fighting. Stimulate everyone to defend their positions with emotion, but not emotionally. Defining rules or boundaries for the critique, beforehand inspires confidence in the process.

4. Periodically Take The Temperature To Ensure That The Process Remains Orderly

Monitor the process carefully to ensure that the constructive conflict does not become destructive conflict. With this, we make our minds fertile for ideas of how to use constructive conflict to solve problems. Getting the conflict nonemotional means that it is most likely safe to proceed. However, avoid creating an interactive environment that is too passive to generate results. At the the end, allow a transition time for people to settle down.

5. Ensure That Only Ideas Come Under Attack, Not Individuals Or Their Self-images

An individual’s self-esteem should never be injured in the process, no matter the situation. Trust and respect should be maintained at all times. Here features a statement that captures a good principle to adopt. “Your ideas will come under attack, but not you.”

6. Avoid Forcing Anyone

Don’t force anyone into the process before they are ready. Oftentimes, fear stands as an inhibitor for many. Those who are keen on constructive conflict will participate, while those who are not will not participate. Encourage those who do not want to engage with the process, to observe. Seeing that the process is safe will stimulate them to participate.

7. Change Sides In Your Debate

Periodically switching positions in your debate, promotes a greater understanding of the other’s perspective on a problem. Further, defending a position opposed to your own deepens your appreciation for other’s views. Also, this helps to keep the process positive. Good with, allow participants time to reorder their thoughts before resuming debate when switching sides.

8. Discourage Compromise

The goal of constructive conflict is to discover new ideas and approaches, not to reach consensus or compromise. Compromise stops the process and reduces ownership and accountability. Encourage participants to stick to their positions, as long as they feel strongly about it. Compromise features as the last resort.

9. Bring In Individuals Who Have Little Or No Knowledge Of The Subjects Under Consideration

This can help to generate ideas unfettered by prior experience or prejudice. Participants can make meaningful contributions, as long as they able to look for connections; similarities, contrasts and parallels.

10. Know When To Use The Process And When To Abandon It

Though creative conflict is useful in a great number of circumstances, it is not useful in all of them. If doubt surfaces, discuss it with those who will be asked to participate to get their take on the situation. Initiating the process when they feel it might be good for team members is good to cultivate. Also, they should provide honest feedback when they feel it isn’t.

11. Know When To Bail Out Of Bad Positions

Participants aggressively defending points of view must bail out on bad positions when necessary. Staying with an opinion simply means that it appears to have merit or serves to stimulate additional discussion.

12. Keep Track Of Information As It Surfaces

Assign someone to be the recorder. This step is important, as the final solution might emerge early in the process, not at the end.


Constructive conflict is a way to shock nonthinkers out of unproductive passivity. It spotlights as a way to energise ingenuity and jumpstart the inventive process. Some new discoveries might just follow a bit of constructive conflict in your organisation.

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