Are you a conflict avoider?
Is avoiding conflict becoming a real problem for you?
Is it affecting your life, your career or your business?
If that is you, you will love today’s episode.
You see, 85% of leaders in the organizations label themselves as conflict avoiders. They know there are things that are wrong in their organizations, but they don’t dare to open their mouth. They don’t dare becoming the whistle blower, the rebel or the questioner. They don’t dare to ask “What is happening here? We could be doing this differently”. They are willfully blind. They pretend not to know what they clearly do know.
In my long business experience, I have seen this phenomenon consistently repeat and repeat everywhere. We can see it clearly in the Enron, Volkswagen and Lehman Brothers aftermaths. We all think that we are alone in this dangerous compliance game. We think that it’s the way we do business here: in this industry or in this country. The English think pleasing is typically English. The Mexicans would say it is Mexican. The bankers think it’s from the banking industry.
In fact I believe that it’s human; because we love pleasing. It’s our initial survival strategy. We love to please mom. So we do what mom asks us to do. Whenever we say the horrible word NO; it’s a big disappointment for mom and a big disappointment for society. We have to please. We have to comply.
This don’t-rock-the-boat attitude is the source of a lot of – if not all – the problems that we are living right now. This is the reason why so many companies go bankrupt. This is the reason why so many relationships go wrong.
- Because we consciously choose to ignore things that we could be changing
- Because we do not use the power of conversation and the power of cooperation
- Because we do not have the courage to embrace conflict
So in fact today I really invite you to rethink what conflict is. I invite you to re-frame it. Conflict can be the source of solutions, innovation and creativity.
If you have a colleague, spouse or child, who thinks completely opposite from you, you have a great blessing. This person could become your greatest asset to create solutions, possibilities that you both cannot imagine individually.
To get things done on a higher level we need opposite points of view. In philosophy we have the thesis and the antithesis. They are opposite arguments, apparently irreconcilable. When we insist in seeing irreconcilable differences, we avoid progress, change and innovation.
In the other hand, when we dare to take both sides of the argument we reach a higher level: the synthesis. When we marry these two opposite perspectives, something new is born, something that includes both perspectives, yet on a higher level.
Dare to listen to the other person’s side of the argument. Dare to listen to the person who says “No”. Dare to listen to the child that “misbehaves”. Dare to listen to that colleague who is disengaged. Dare to listen to the customer who complains. Dare to listen to that person who thinks, sees, says or does the opposite to you.
Take them serious. Feel, think, and appreciate their perspective.
Take yourself serious. Feel, think, and appreciate your perspective.
Listen to each other. Dare to talk about the differences, the similarities, the reasons, the dreams, the common ground….
When you both come from love (love for your industry, your marriage, your country) conflict transforms into innovation, possibilities and progress. So, be a leader, come from love. Engage your antithesis partner on the basis of love. Go and discuss the “undiscussables” on a basis of love. You’ll see how they will drop their fear and walk with you towards a higher level solution.
Now that you are aware of the possibility to rethink conflict as innovation: do it! Make it part of your daily practice. Become aware of what you are not saying. Become aware of your own fear to speak. Appreciate your perspective. Feel that love for the issue at hand. Take the courage to share your views. Remember no one else can say what you have to say, because no one else has your perspective. Your views and your thoughts are indispensable to innovate. Take the courage to listen to other perspectives. Take the courage to find common ground, to find what is good for all the people involved.
The problems of this world will not be solved by keeping our ideas for ourselves. Let’s start rocking the boat. Let’s start saying and doing what needs to be said and done. You are here to build a better future for the children. It starts here. Be courageous. Now it’s your time.
Now back to you
I would love to hear from you.
Which of these ideas you would like to implement? What touched you?
By writing your answers here below you will not only commit to yourself to make these changes, but you will also be inspiring others. We love to hear your voice! Write up your commitment in a comment here below. Go, do it!
If this content inspired you to speak up, AND you know of someone whose voice could build a better future, please do help her/him out. Share this video with him or her. We need more people building better alternatives in all areas of life.
Thank you very much for reading, watching, sharing, commenting! We are building something amazing: the Heart Centered Economy.
To your brilliance,
Featured Image by Service Design Berlin