Conflict...while the word has a collective negative sense, a level of trusted conflict within a group is considered one of the truest attributes of a healthy team. Conflict requires comfort, courage, and confidence, and when these are robust amongst co-workers, disagreements will happen. The result...creativity, winning ideas, and greater levels of trust!
Conflict within a team or an organization is inevitable. There will be times when tensions rise and fall, times when the perspectives of individuals clash, and times when feelings are hurt. In life, as in work, these will happen and must be handled with enough grace and tolerance for all parties to walk away with their dignity and integrity intact. Where constructive conflict is not accomplished is where grudges, retaliation, and fear take form, and is a direct result of leadership failure by not harmonizing the tension into healthy, meaningful dialogue. Where leadership consistently fails to accomplish this, or is the source of it, is when team members become disconnected and dis-engaged. The more extensive this pattern becomes, team member(s) become apathetic...engaging with passivity, or creating superficial peace because they no longer feel their contribution is meaningful.
Getting to the point of not caring is the ultimate point of apathy, and for a leader...when one of our team members quits talking, is the time we need to listen the most.