The value of conflict

I had a long chat over coffee this morning with Anne Bailey quite a bit of it drawing on her recent post about the value of conflict. She links to a TED talk by Margaret Heffernan. Anne sums it up:

…disagreements are essential if we want to think hard learn well, and achieve great things. Conflict, clash, the grit in the oyster – all of these are crucial conditions for productive thinking. But this isn’t what you find in most organisations.

This makes sense to me. Some of the most engaging conversations I’ve had lately have been where people are curious and open to talk about what’s not working here? Of course that form of words is not a magic feather, a lot depends on the context – but for a long time I’ve found exploring the shadow side of relationships and organisations way more exciting than advocating idealised best practice.

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