Use the Two Minute Rule to Encourage Healthy Conflict in Meetings

One sign of organizational health is constructive conflict in your meetings. The fact that someone cares enough to make a ruckus about an issue means they actually care. And far better to have someone oppose an initiative than be apathetic about it.


But conflict can quickly escalate to something unhealthy if left unchecked or paired with ineffective communication styles.

It’s the leader’s role to both encourage conflict and ensure its healthy.

One tip from Ray Dalio’s Principles, will help here: enforce a two-minute rule where a member of the team has two full minutes to make their point without interruption or interference.


This simple ground rule prevents overtalking and interruption. It allows enough space to communicate a thought in full where the whole merits of the argument can be evaluated.


Three steps to implement this with your team:


  1. Announce your expectation that robust discussion and conflict is expected when discussing mission critical items in your meetings. Non-engagement is a non-option. Explain the two-minute rule as part of your meeting groundrules.

  2. Provide real-time feedback when your team engages in conflict. Break in during a conversation to point out the tense dialogue happening right now is what you want, and that you want more of it.

  3. Enforce the two-minute when necessary. Simply state, “Hold on Jeremy, I know you have a response to what Amelia is saying, but she deserves her two minutes to state her case. You’ll have a chance to reply shortly.”

Why It Matters

Over time, you’ll help create a zone of safety where robust dialogue is nurtured and the team’s performance is improved because you’re surfacing with the issues that matter and dealing with them in a way that honors all involved.


Read more on creating an emotionally healthy organization here and here.

0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Stubbornness vs Persistence

There's a fine line between stubbornness and persistence. Stubbornness is refusing to acknowledge the circumstances have changed, and so therefore, must the behaviors that result in success. Persisten

What Game Are You Playing?

I sat down this week and wrote out 10 investing principles that guide my financial investments. Principle 3: Fear of missing out means you’re envious of someone else’s game. Play your own game and wis

Two Ways to Get More out of Your Team

Being able to get the most out of your team is a helpful skill as a leader. And one way to get the most out of your team is to identify the behaviors you want more of, and ask for more of them. You ca