In today’s BBTL book entry, Chet writes about conflict and the need for individuals, teams and leaders to “root it out,” if they are truly committed to building team chemistry.
Too many of us are settling for false harmony, because getting to the root of the problem is just too damn hard. We choose to ignore the problem, avoid the conversation and sidestep the issue — anything but get to the bottom of the bullsh#t. “Because every time I bring it up, it just turns into a great big thing!!
So, we fake it. And settle for good enough — if it’s even THAT.
But why? Why are we so averse to have the tough conversations, much less root out the cause?
Because, I believe, we aren’t approaching our tough conversations the right way. We need to be less prosecutor and more Curious George. We need to avoid what author Marilee Adams calls judger questions. We need to ask more learner questions.
In her book, Change Your Questions, Change Your Life, Adams describes judger questions as those which seek to assign blame and “prove I’m right,” while learner questions reflect an open-minded interest in learning the facts, understanding the other person, and discovering my role in the conflict.
But this is far from easy. Because we are, as Chet has written many times before, “naturally self-centered and other controlling.” We need to build toward becoming “CORE centered and self controlling.”
So, do we continue to fake it? Do we make the easy choice — to settle for false harmony, then wonder why we never make sweet music? Or do we make the tough choice — to mine for conflict and root it out, but do so with a mindset on getting it right, not hell-bent on being right.
That’s gonna take some self-control. That’s gonna take some real patience — to stay curious, to learn, to not be so quick to judge.
“Most conflict,” as Chet concludes, “is simply a conversation to be had.”
So, let’s have it. Let’s start with a baby step. Let’s start with seven good minutes…