There’s an old saying that goes, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
This is a great metaphor for businessmen and businesswomen to adhere to if they are hoping to grow as individuals and as leaders. l.
Conflict is inevitable. And as uncomfortable as it might make us, and as much as many of us try to avoid it in our personal lives (myself included), conflict can be extremely beneficial to the success of any organization. Of course, it’s important to point out that there is a big difference between constructive and destructive conflict.
In a low-trust organization or among un-engaged/disengaged team members, conflict can be extremely detrimental to an already dysfunctional work environment. Rather than creating conversations that challenge one another for the betterment of all, this type of conflict often tears others down and brings down the organization as a whole.
On the other hand, in a high-trust organization, the result of conflict is often creative, collaborative, outside-the-box thinking. Constructive conflict can lead a team to craft innovative solutions that reach beyond anything these individuals could’ve come up with on their own.
As a leader, it’s important to create an environment where open, respectful dialogue is encouraged. You can inspire positive change by listening to the opinions and viewpoints of others, offering feedback and considering all sides. By challenging your team to dig deeper, ask tough questions, think outside-the-box and challenge the status quo you can ensure you are harnessing the true value each individual brings to the table.
It’s ok to disagree. In fact, I’d encourage you to share your opinion more often, but keep it professional. In business (and in life), there is never an excuse for being disrespectful of others or their viewpoints. Only by challenging each other to do more and be more can we all improve as a team, as an organization and even as a community.
About the Author
Megan is the owner/principal at Finnern Consulting where she provides contract project management and marketing services to growing businesses including Quality Business Solutions, Inc. and BRIGHT+CO. An active Pulse member since 2011, Megan has served on the Marketing Committee since 2013, was the 2014 Marketing Chair and is the current 2016 Vice Chair.
Outside of Pulse, Megan is a member of Rebuild Upstate's Advisory Council and the Fall for Greenville Board of Directors - serving as the Marketing Committee Chair for both organizations. She sits on the American Red Cross of Upstate Board of Directors, volunteers for Meals on Wheels of Greenville and is an active member of the Greenville Chamber. When she's not working or volunteering, Megan enjoys cooking, fitness, getting outdoors and spending time with friends and family.