Our group has been researching performance, communication, and trust issues in teams. Product development and management is a very cross-functional activity, involving people from different groups, experience basis, and perspectives. It is not uncommon for conflict to occur – conflict is a characteristic of most groups and teams at times. Conflict, when dealt with appropriately, leads to better problem solving and can enhance team effectiveness and cohesion.
One source I appreciate that provides insights into dealing with difficult conversations and conflicts is VitalSmarts. Their free newsletter addresses many situations that are common to business environments. They introduced the Law of the Hog, which states “Anytime you hold a crucial confrontation poorly, a ‘hog’ gets fed.”
When intimidation and coercion are used to make your point or drive change, a hog turns on. Some people will “checkout” and only do the bare minimum to stay employed. Performance suffers and motivation dwindles. To learn more about the Law of the Hog, watch this video.