I was passed on this short video by Pat Lencioni from a friend of mine within the HR industry, after a discussion we had around championing healthy debate and differing opinions. 

In this video Pat discusses the value of giving real-time permission for conflict in meetings. Conflict often has negative connotations and something that is not actively promoted. 

I took this advice on board and recently the opportunity arose to give it a try. I interrupted a couple of our team members who were in a heated discussion and gave them permission to debate their topic around 'candidate sourcing'. They both looked at me rather bemused but then carried on their discussion in a more civilised manner. Whilst they both agreed to disagree, it did prompt a healthy debate where they were able to confidently discuss their own point of views without it getting too out of hand.

Whilst I don't see this working every time, I do see it as a good tool to prompt healthy debate and it opens others up to a colleague's rationale. I will continue to attempt this as and when an opportunity arises. Maybe it is worth trying next time you see a couple of team members in a heated engagement...