antagonistsHealthy Conflict: . Brainstorming and problem solving are excellent team building  tools that may encourage healthy conflict and stimulate creativity. Steven Covey teaches that great synergy comes from healthy conflict.

No Conflict: This may be nice but it’s boring and unstimulating. Covey would say that it is courteous but unproductive.

Unhealthy Conflict: Undesirable conflict can come from three types of antagonists.

The Psychotic Antagonist: This person causes conflict without realizing it. They may interrupt and ramble or be rude and even incoherent. They need individual professional help.

The Major Antagonist: This person is the subversive anti-leader. They can create conflict without being caught. They  are often leaders who are unwilling to take an official position as lead worker or supervisor. They want authority without responsibility. They work behind the scenes and undercut the official leaders.

The Minor Antagonist: These are often admirers of the Major Antagonist and unaware that they are being played as pawns. They unwittingly do the opposing “dirty work” against the official leaders after being stirred up by the Major Antagonist.

Does this make sense? In workshops I get lots of knowing nods of agreement especially about the Majors and the Minors.  Please email me with your thoughts when you get a chance.

Source: “Antagonists in Church” by  Kenneth C. Haugk, Ph.D.   Dr. Haugk is a psychiatrist and his excellent insights are useful for any organization.