Can conflict be good?
People sometimes think that being a part of a ‘best place to work’ means that it is party time all the time. That’s not the case. Sure we work hard and play hard, but really what we do is challenge each other to greatness. We know that to be challenged can also be truly rewarding.
It says somewhere in the bible that a ‘good wife’ will debate and challenge her husband so he can see what he cannot see. I think this is the basis of all partnerships or even leadership teams. If we keep playing it safe, living in our comfort zone then how can we ever possibly create something bigger than ourselves?
There are more people in the RedBalloon team than it once was, and I don’t necessarily have the same moment-by-moment contact with each individual that I used to. As a result, I rely heavily on the team leaders around me to deliver on the vision, the passion and the commitment to our people.
Having differences of opinion, viewing the world differently, holding the mirror up so we can see how we are really performing is all healthy. When there is a fundamental respect for each other, then challenges are seen as growth opportunities.
Why this sudden outburst, to announce that conflict can be constructive? RedBalloon is coming into planning for the next financial year, resources need to be allocated and there are always differences of opinions. As long as the process is respectful of each individual’s opinions, then even after a full on conflict – we can all still come back to a place of alignment and harmony.
Being an employer of choice is challenging, steadfastly committed to keeping everyone aligned – even if it takes lots of energy and many different points of view. It does mean never giving up and knowing that near enough is good enough, just to appease someone (or be nice…) it is not fair to the rest of the team to leave a debate unchallenged.
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