Victim or Victor Checkpoint 6: Hard on the idea....Kind towards each other...Why it is so hard to get conflict right
April of 2021 has us noticing that not only has spring, sprung, but that many have an extra spring in their step.
Could it be the vaccine, the year of isolation, the passing of loved ones or just the beauty of life reborn, but the flowers are full of color and even our oak leaves are vibrant in their adolescent state.
We find that this time of year is one bursting with action and so will keep this email short and hopefully impactful for where you are as a leader right now.
In almost any setting, adding the right amount of conflict can be a challenge and yet in many situations, just like the right spice, it can activate other elements and "make the soup."
As leaders of ourselves and others we are given the responsibility to create an atmosphere that optimizes getting the job done.
What we have noticed recently is that much of the conflict tied to the pandemic is relationally based, as in, these people are bad, wrong, or stupid because of X.
This is the type of conflict that kills cultures at work, on teams, and inside of families and if anyone were to observe an elementary school playground we appear to acquire the ability to have relational conflict early in life.
Where conflict can be accretive is when we create constraints or games to work with the tension that is conflicts byproduct to hone what we discussed last time which is trust.
Sport when positioned correctly allows the ball to be under duress, not the people who handle the ball, building a fence in the backyard can put the project under stress, not the people who are building it.
We coined this process "being hard on the ball and kind to each other."
You probably are doing something like this intuitively already, but we wanted to share a few insights on what we are noticing right now and based on some mistakes we have made while adapting to the distance the pandemic has put between so many of us.
The first is that once you have set up your tension or conflict points inside your system, make sure to listen for remarks or comments that would signify that your team is struggling with the pressure.
Under pressure your adults will turn to children quickly and your conflict will lose its impact, take a page from John Wooden's book and correct these lapses quickly and with the language that focuses the conflict on the task.
The second is that when taking your "tension" process on the road and into new environments make sure the room is safe first or your words may be misinterpreted and your firmness on the ball might be perceived to be an attack on a person.
People who feel attacked seldom recover fully.
Our formula for creating the right environment to add conflict his is SE = C = T = Success
Conflict and tension are in abundance currently, and much of it is below the line and relationally destructive, we hope our observations will allow you and your team to move the tension above the line and focus on the tasks that are most important to accomplish your stated goals within the frameworks of your teams principles.
Your team needs your leadership more now than ever as we all collectively navigate this pandemic period.
Thank you for your readership and friendship,
Drew & Sara
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