If you live in the northern half of the United States then you may be familiar with the statement that we actually only have two seasons – Winter and Construction. Although we joke about the challenges both of these seasons cause for travel the reality is that both do in fact cause driving conditions to be less than ideal. We are not especially fond of slipping around on ice and snow nor are we happy when the primary route to a destination is closed for road work.
We do know that in both cases they are temporary issues. The sun will, in fact, come up tomorrow and heat things up to melt the snow and ice. The construction crew will continue to place the concrete or asphalt and the road surface will be much better to travel on instead of potholes. Both of these temporary situations get improved through understanding that it is temporary and that the next day, week or month will be much better than the past.
When working with our clients there are times that the business must pass through Constructive Conflict Zones. These are times when there is a conflict between one state of the business and a desired different state of the business. If these transition points are not navigated correctly then the amount of time and resources spent in the transition can be a lot more than should have been expended and the end results could very well not be the best end result.
It might be like mixing the laying of asphalt on a road that is covered with ice. Although the hot asphalt may lay down on the roadway the resulting water trapped underneath will only pop or buckle the repair when the temperature drops to freezing. The end result is more cost and more downtime for the road creating more conflict for drivers.
In order to drive around these potential potholes of conflict in your business, you need a culture where conflict is not a negative environment but viewed and embraced as a positive. A let’s improve mentality. Although relatively easy to say, the implementation of such a culture is more demanding. People must be allowed to voice their input and people must be open to hear and give real consideration to alternate points of view.
This is why we refer to these as “Constructive Conflict Zones” as opposed to destructive zones. As leaders, it is incumbent upon you to lay the foundation and support the environment for “Constructive” zones in your business. By having a well-defined set of core values and principles as a guidance system you can build upon that framework to allow for an engaging environment to support positive dialogue.
This week as you wrap up 2018 and look to beginning a new calendar year, take some time to look at the environment of your company. Is there an opportunity to improve the “Constructive Conflict Zones” so you can move your organization forward in 2019?
Interested in improving your company culture in 2019? Time to call in the experts – JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945.