Great article by Michael Bayewitz on dealing with conflict in collaborative teams. This excerpt spoke to me:
"A common misconception is that high-functioning teams are conflict-free. In reality, successful collaborative teams don’t avoid conflict; they embrace it. Strong teams are able to engage in lively, sometimes heated debate without eroding trust or compromising their ability to get their work done. Why? Because there’s a difference between the big stuff and the little stuff. To a basketball team, it’s about winning. To a school team, it’s about learning and student achievement.
Professional learning communities are characterized by having strong cultures built on the pillars of shared mission, vision, values, and goals. True collaborative teams embrace student learning as their primary purpose, and sometimes teams must go through difficult conversations in order to make this a reality. These kinds of conversations, though difficult and uncomfortable, are crucial. When teams can agree on shared beliefs about students, discuss their hopes and dreams, create common goals, and agree on a clear mission and vision, then their work becomes anchored in trust and there is clarity of purpose. When trust and purpose are clearly established, the conditions are ripe for high levels of learning for students and adults."