Creative Conflict

This type of conflict is usually found during brainstorming sessions or group projects. When one person puts forward a great idea, but someone else also has a great idea, they can clash. This is known as creative conflict. Employees need to recognize the ideas of others, voice their own, and then gather the best pieces together for the best solution possible.

It’s important to consider everyone’s ideas. Your idea might not always be the best one.

For a company to maintain success over the years, it’s important to put systems in place that stimulate debate which opens the door to conflict. Creative conflict is healthy to a certain extent. Bouncing a hurricane of ideas around a room can turn a small business into a large enterprise.

Progress comes from debate, but debate goes hand in hand with conflict.

Once situations are kept healthy, polite and professional, creative conflict can be very useful.

From a management point of view, it’s important not to halt any of the creative juices that are flowing in a brainstorming session. If you witness a potential conflict, let it play out unless you feel it’s beginning to get out of hand. At the point, nip it in the bud, but remind the room of the valuable points that were mentioned and get back to the discussion at hand.

Here are some vocabulary tips for this type of situation:

Instead of…

Why not try…


  • Keep going. I’m enjoying you guys arguing.

  • That’s a healthy debate, guys.

  • Very good, everyone.

  • Thank you for that.

  • Wow, guys. That was impressive.

  • I hope everyone enjoyed that as much as I did. It was very interesting.

  • If you’ve more to touch on, keep going. This is good.

  • I took some notes. Let’s recap on some of the highlights of our meeting.

  • Does anyone else have anything to add to those points?

  • I’d like to add something to that…

  • What can we take away from this today?

  • Stop. We’re going around in circles.

  • We’ll just go with my idea.

  • Let’s just leave it here. I can’t listen to anymore of this.

  • Don’t let that happen again!


As you can see, the objective here is to calm the situation while letting the whole team know that the conflicting debate between the two employees was very positive. Once you ensure that it’s stopped at the right time (i.e. before tension builds), then it’s a positive experience for everyone.


You should maintain your professionalism at all times. Show your peers that you can have a healthy debate without letting your emotions get the better of you.

The loudest in the room is the weakest in the room

Keep your debate straightforward, but with character. Don’t forget yourself or let things get out of hand if you feel you’re getting defensive.

Stay on point

Here’s some tips to help you in this type of situation:

Instead of…

Why not try…


  • My suggestions are a little better.

  • I think my ideas would suit more.

  • Let’s just try my idea. If it doesn’t work, we can try yours.

  • I see where you’re coming from…

  • They’re really good suggestions.

  • Let me delve a little deeper into what I meant…

  • I like where we’re going with this.


Showing that you care about other people’s opinions and value their input as much as your own breeds maturity. If you have more to explain, explain it. Be assertive, but respectful. Assume everyone has the same outlook as you in terms of considering your views when you speak, just as much as you consider theirs when they speak.

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