Some people and organizations hate conflict.
- Judgmental words
- Explosive behavior
- Relationships struggling or ending
Then they allow that fear to drive their results!
- Some feel victimized by the past and hold so tightly to those emotions that they experience less joy and less productivity.
- Others have rumbling fires of anger burning about present issues. Occasionally smoke seeps out as they vent to those closest to them. As those fires continue to grow everyone is at risk of their eventual eruption.
- Some are unwilling to learn an alternative way of dealing with conflict.
- Others don’t realize there is an alternative.
- And none realize that their choice to wait for the other party to change, is spreading growth-eating bacteria throughout their organization.
Imagine being a new Office Manager for a small company. The first day on the job your new boss, a.k.a the owner, meets you at the office. He stays there for the morning and then leaves.
The other employees work afternoons and weekends. So you’re in a new role, in a new industry. You’re alone at the office, answering phones, and trying to create a weekend work schedule for people you have never met, with less than 4 hours of “training.”
Logic says that you should not be surprised when that first busy weekend goes south. But your new boss loses it!
He’s in his mid forties, tall, long legged and thin. Now his string bean legs are stomping around the office, while he is hollering, blaming and yes – he even throws a pen across the room in frustration. (Not at you – thankfully!) But wow! Just wow!
If his behavior weren’t so immature and shocking – you would have doubled over in laughter at how crazy he looked!
In the heat of the moment you could decide that you have no desire to work for this Boss Baby. And you could walk out the door, put in your notice, begin updating your resume…
Or you could make some uncommon choices:
In business, families, faith-based organizations and communities I’ve continuously witnessed the power of these words:
Together WE STAND. Divided WE FALL.
Prior to moving to Saudi Arabia, my focus on divisive current events was growing. …As was my determination to find ways to bring people together to find solutions.
So I began sharing this dream with others:
Since our return home from Saudi Arabia, (A place I once feared and had zero desire to move to.) I have been facilitating a series of workshops for students – sharing what day-to-day life was like while emphasizing critical life, leadership and people skills that they will need throughout their lives.
In each workshop students are given a visual of a natural process that will happen the rest of their lives – as they decide if they have the courage to leave their comfort zones or the grit to survive when life hands them circumstances they can’t control.
Some of the questions I’ve been asked about Saudi are worth sharing:
What was the best part?
- Living in an International Compound: Sharing life, friendship, and food with people from more than 50 nations and learning from them.
- Riding motorcycle with men and women from all over the world and getting to experience parts of Saudi that many expats don’t get to enjoy. (Yes – My motorcycle jacket had ½ of an abaya attached to it and could be rolled up when I was on the bike and rolled down when I was off the bike. Allowing me to be respectful and safe while enjoying time on the bike with my husband.)
- Vacationing in 11 countries besides Saudi and Bahrain in the 4 years we were there.
What was the hardest thing for you?
We’ve been back in the U.S. for nearly 6 weeks. Watching the divide we witnessed across the ocean. Aching as it appears to be growing deeper and wider.
I know I’m not alone in my concern for our country or in my desire to be a part of the solution. Several of my leadership connections have been sharing both struggles and wisdom in their blogs.
Alli Polin, Erin Schreyer, Steve Keating and Jesse Lyn Stoner have each written important articles to help us build bridges across that divide.
- Each of the image quotes below highlight something from their articles that I found especially powerful.
- Each of their original articles are linked after each image through their name.
If you are struggling with the current state of our union – I encourage you to:
- Read each one
- Watch the Conversation Safari video at the end of this post
And then make strategic choices to be the change you want to see