Most meetings are boring and suck. They leave people unengaged and lacking motivation. That is why we hate meetings. What is the key you having great meetings?
Not the I hate your guts type conflict or the political type conflict that can plague churches. Healthy conflict is discussion, where disagreements are brought out on the table and these disagreements are talked about passionately, but with respect.
Patrick Lencioni in his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team says teams that have good conflict:
- Have lively, interesting meetings
- Extract and exploit the ideas of all team members
- Solve real problems quickly
- Minimize politics
- Put critical topics on the table for discussion
So how do you get healthy conflict as a leader?
You have to mine for it. You have to make sure that you push people to get what they are thinking out on the table. If you see someone’s body language communicating that they are uncomfortable with what is being said, then you need to get them to put that body language into words. But you also have to jump on conflict that is political or attacking a person. Remember, not all conflict is good you want healthy conflict that is to the point and on task.
I will leave you with Lencioni on why your team needs conflict:
“Teams that engage in productive conflict know that the only purpose is to produce the best possible solution in the shortest period of time. They discuss and resolve issues more quicklyand completely than others, and they emerge from heated debates with no residual feelings or collateral damage, but with an eagerness and readiness to take on the next important issue.” (p.203)