Great teams do not leave anything to chance. This is especially true of conflict. Conflict is something every team will face. What separates a team from another is how they respond to conflict. I have observed that most team dysfunction is centered on the team’s ability to handle conflict in a healthy way. Dysfunction holds a team back from its potential because it wastes time and energy to manage. Dysfunction can be avoided if teams make an intentional effort to have the tough conversations when they should and with whom they should. Conflict that is pushed down is never forgotten. It acts like a seed that is buried only to sprout a bitter weed that tangles around the emotions of the teammates involved. It’s best to never sow the seeds of conflict in the first place. Talk it out with the respect and care necessary to find a way forward. Don’t wait and don’t leave bitterness to chance.