Unhealthy conflict happens when you won’t budge

Conflict is good. Healthy disagreement is when we spark new ideas and new thinking. Thinking that is opposed to an already existing idea or thought. There were many that said Uber wouldn’t work. That people won’t book travel on apps. Steve Jobs was thrown off his own Board because his ideas (and his leadership style) was too outrageous. It took decades for us to make gay marriage legal because our old thinking wouldn’t let us entertain anything else.

Why do we get so stuck? Let me just say that having different opinions is more than ok. That’s what makes us human. Our different experiences create beliefs that we live by. We shouldn’t be late vs time is not important. We should treat people kindly vs don’t be walked over. We should create multiple products to have a broad portfolio vs become a deep expert in one space. Which one is right?!

I don’t think deciding which is right is when the conversation is useful. I see when we debate and become curious about all of them, and then experiment with one idea is healthier. Not just for you, but for those around you.

When we hear ‘I believe what I believe’ or ‘that’s my opinion and I’m entitled to it’ it creates binary thinking. It’s self-limiting. For you and that’s what those around you think as well. They just might not say so. 

I’m with Adam Grant, author of Think Again, when he says that; ‘Growth is not just about embracing new ideas. It’s also about rethinking old ones. Refusing to change your mind is a decision to stop learning’. Do you really want to become stale?

I find having my children grow into adults challenges my way of thinking. Old school thinking says young people are being too sensitive. Maybe they are and maybe they are not. Explore it. If you hire thinkers expect them to do just that. And think differently to you. Otherwise, we become stale.

When we are stale, we create unhealthy conflict. We are like a concreate monument in the wind. Immovable. Yet there’s very few coming to stare at our grandeur. 

So, consider experimenting with thinking a different way. And watch how others respond to you.  

Do you want to know how to create healthy conflict in the workplace? Do you manage teams and/or lead people? Then come to our next online event October 17th.  Register here.