It sounds like an oxymoron, but psychologist and business strategist Liane Davey insists there is such a thing as healthy conflict at work.

Fighting at work doesn’t have to be destructive or end in someone going home with a figurative black eye. Instead, office tensions can be a starting point for respectful dialogue, problem-solving and behavioral change that helps teams move closer toward their goals.

I always have to tell people that tension and conflict isn’t the antithesis of teamwork. It’s the purpose of it,” she said in an interview with the Knowledge@Wharton radio show on SiriusXM. (Listen to the podcast at the top of this page.) In her new book, The Good Fight: Use Productive Conflict to Get Your Team and Organization Back on Track, Davey offers tools for turning office squabbles into productive sessions.

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