Here's how to build a team that collaborates without butting heads

Ever been in a meeting that’s turned contentious, and you find yourself thinking, “Wait a minute, aren’t we all ...

Ever been in a meeting that’s turned contentious, and you find yourself thinking, “Wait a minute, aren’t we all supposed to be on the same team?”

The good news is that energetic employees and managers — the people with no shortage of opinions to bring to the table — are often the ones who are most passionate about their jobs. As a business leader, it falls on you to cultivate that passion and re-shape it from aggressive into productive.

Spirited discourse is a form of communication, and a powerful one at that. gives companies the tools to harness those conversations and give them direction, so that no matter how divisive a topic may be, the intention remains front and center. Solving problems is always an uphill battle, but without a clear goal, people often become swept up in the nitty-gritty and lose sight of the actual issue at hand.

The first step in building a collaborative team is to reimagine the structures of your meetings. shows you how to create a fixed agenda experience, essentially eliminating the likelihood that a meeting goes off the rails. A department manager oversees the fixed agenda experience, but it’s constructed with the valued input of employees, giving them an opportunity to elevate concerns before they can get out of hand.

For example, say you have an employee who’s identified a workflow issue that’s disrupting productivity. He or she’s been waiting for the right opportunity to bring it up, but the day-to-day grind is busy and unchanging, and there never seems to be the right time. This is the type of contribution that should be welcomed into a fixed agenda. You’ve created a clear window of time during which the employee can explain the issue, and leadership and/or the broader team can discuss possible solutions.

The outcome here is that the employee’s been given a voice, his or her colleagues have had a chance to weigh in with relevant commentary, and leadership is aware of the problem in case it requires further action. Drama: Avoided. also encourages collaboration outside of meetings, even for employees who work in relatively siloed environments. Playbooks can function just as well for individual employees as they do for entire teams. When people are working toward shared goals, they’re more likely to feel a sense of community — and a strong company is fueled by employees who care not just about their own achievements, but also about the long-term success of the business.

Whether you’ve got a handful of firecracker employees or too many to count, keep in mind that no business can grow without a healthy amount of internal dissent and problem-solving. will help your team turn meaningless conflict into impactful conversations.

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