Intensity, Disagreement, and Conflict all OK – but lose the Anger
The best in any position in any company at any level, and I’m talking about the best, are tenaciously focused on hitting goals. This mindset by its very nature can create human combustion that exudes a whole lot of intensity, disagreement, conflict, and oftentimes anger.
Intensity is good. Disagreement is good. Conflict is good. While more difficult for some than others, there is no room for anger. It can absolutely shred a team – demoralize, de-motivate, distract, and if practiced on a reoccurring basis, create disdain.
If you’re a leader do your homework, ask pointed questions and challenge the team, but do so with intensity and your eye on the goal of making change, shaping behavior, or making clear decisions. If there are differing opinions, that is great. Engage in discussion that will re-set strategy or challenge the current thinking. This is all done to get to the truth and push an issue to a decision point. If there are departments that are having tension over strategic or tactical moves, then get in a room and work out a compromise to the apparent conflict, and, if conflict occurs during the meeting, it’s OK. In this case, conflict is good, because you are working toward resolve.
But I caution all of us. The minute we throw “ANGER” into the equation, people start shutting down. Anger makes it very personal. Anger causes a distraction from the real purpose of a discussion. Anger creates walls between people. Anger means a loss of control. And anger can be hurtful.
I’m not saying don’t get emotional, but give me individuals and organizations that are intense, can disagree, have conflict, and work toward resolve and I’ll show you a fighting winner. Insert anger and you run the risk of alienating any real communication and creating unhealthy fear in the work environment. Angry outbursts can cloud thinking, deviate from true purpose and burn through good individuals. Bottom line, it can just plain tear teams wide open. Stay cool in your quest for more, especially you over achieving animals. I know who you are. All the best everyone.