Happy couples and couples on the verge of divorce have at least one thing in common. Acccording to research done by John Gottman, they both have the same amount of “perpetual” conflict – 69 percent of all marital conflict is “gridlocked.” Translation. It’s not going away. Great couples just like great companies are able to laugh not languish in this reality. The truth is we all have conflict and in fact we all have conflict that is not going away. The key is how we recognize this fact and what we do about it.
Today, in team practice 29, we were discussing this very fact. Here’s what I told them and would tell you regarding whatever conflict you are facing. This is “common sense” but far from common practice. Here it is. Develop the habit of telling your spouse and your team members exactly what you want from them. Stop wishing for them to just magically show up and start giving it to you. Ask for it. Ask for what you want with uncommon clarity. And ask them what they want from you. Stop burying your requests in the middle of some lengthy email. This furthers a passive aggressive culture. Replace this habit with a performance aggressive talk. Talk. Truth in love. Good.
Wish less. Want more.
Tell them what you want and ask them what they want. Be clear with your bids and clarify your teammates bid to you. Get busy dealing with the conflict that results when you discover that some of what each other wants is problematic. Conflict is not the problem. Perpetual conflict is a reality. Find productive ways to solve what is solveable and forget the rest. Even better – learn to laugh, not loathe.
Stop wishing things were different.
Tell them what you want and ask them what they want.
Wish less. Want more. Good…