As you raise your glass this weekend, please take a moment to reflect on what Monday truly means. There are currently several hundred thousand hundred troops stationed directly in harms way doing very dangerous often thankless work. We owe them and their predecessors a vast debt of gratitude.
History has proven that societies that bond together during difficult times through shared common goals and a higher worthy purpose always emerge stronger as a result. Let’s make history by not unraveling!
We need to move towards not away from one another. I worry that lately, we are a culture that has embraced a “divide and conquer” mindset. Instead of “win-win”, we think “win-lose.” Instead of choosing to co-exist with people who think differently from ourselves, we further and further isolate ourselves from others who could potentially […]
It’s easy to sucked into petty disputes and inter-office politics, but as the leader you need to rise above it. You must always remember that your employees take their cultural cues from you. You are a role model! If you get enmeshed in office gossip then they will. If you use a divide and conquer management approach than they will do the same. If you treat people poorly and/or without proper etiquette then bad behavior towards others will become acceptable. If you have a short fuse, then anger will become an acceptable management strategy.
We’ve all met people who seem to argue for the sake of arguing and we also know how we typically feel about them. Some people just have to have to find flaws in everything and/or disagree to be disagreeable. Just like the parable of “the boy who cried wolf” if you are find fault with everything, then it begins to diminish how seriously people take your opinions as a whole. It’s one thing to have a different point of view. It’s quite another to always default to having a different perspective. There’s a fine line to being objectively critical and becoming a crank.
While email and text messaging are great communication tools, they are poor vehicles for dealing with conflict. Sadly, they can be used very effectively for instigating conflict. I’ve seen passive-aggressive behavior taken to new heights by individuals who don’t have to worry the interpersonal dynamics of looking another person in the eye when talking to them or reading and responding to group body language and other visual cues. It’s easy to rail against someone from a distance. It’s also common to misinterpret the intentions behind communication and jump to conclusions that may be flawed.
In organizations as in democracies the inability to foster constructive conflict is a troubling development. To grow and get better, there needs to be disagreement about how to best do things and find new answers to old problems.
High performing organizations don’t shy away from disagreements. In fact, they encourage constructive conflict between team members. The best solutions are rarely the ones where everyone comes to the same conclusion right away. Different points of view, passion and strong opinions are the lifeblood of any business.
I continue to be fascinated and a bit troubled by people who claim an unwillingness to grow or change. They seem to live by the Popeye motto, “I am what I am” and assume everyone else will simply accept this point of view whether they like it or not. Our actions and behaviors will always have consequences both good and bad. The goal should be to maximize the good and limit the bad.
When confronted with a contrary opinion, don’t be defensive, instead hear the other person out and stay focused on the issue not the person.