Most of the time, people just don't like to "make waves." They like to feel their team is "harmonious" and everything is going along well. However, when the status quo is never challenged, it can actually be very detrimental. Change is all around us, from technology to the landscape of our cities. If we aren't open to new ideas, we just set ourselves up for failure.
Consider this: you probably know at least one married couple who has a habit of arguing loudly -and it causes people to be uncomfortable because of it. But they have still been married for years. Then there is the couple who are relatively quiet and agreeable and seem to have a great marriage. All of a sudden they get divorced. More often than not it is because they failed to communicate to each other what their issues were-- whereas the couple that argued communicated frequently and had learned to resolve their issues.
This isn't to say that you should argue vehemently with your team members, but what I am trying to impress is that communicating your differences -rather than just going along to keep the peace- is very important to the health of the team. It also uncovers new ideas and solutions.
So, how do you go about getting comfortable with conflict? More on this subject in the next blog post.