IntraOrganization Negotiation August 29, 2012

Unresolved Issues Erupt Later

We do not choose those we work with, yet we have to get along with them day by day. Others are obviously different from ourselves in many ways...

We do not choose those we work with, yet we have to get along with them day by day. Others are obviously different from ourselves in many ways.

Is it any wonder that people argue and differ so often at work? The disharmony and bickering that accompanies these disagreements erodes our capacity to focus on useful productivity and inhibits our capacity to develop new ideas in concert with others.

Knowing how to get along and work effectively with others is as important as the skills and knowledge we bring to the work.

Unresolved issues erupt later in dysfunctional ways. This occurs because too many people prefer to bury problems or paper over differences in the hope that they will fade away with time. The trouble with hiding the problem is that it will usually return later, more difficult to solve than ever.

Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of Great Britain under Queen Victoria, once said that only from disagreement can new policy and consensus emerge. What we need in this new and competitive global economy is a workplace that favors an open discussion of diverse points of view and ideas without discord, criticism or anger.

Only through the give and take of rational argument and persuasion can creative solutions be found that will benefit all involved. The temptation to find peace by papering over differences and problems is strong. The better path in the long run is to face disagreement energetically in order to find a better way.

The harder it is to get along with someone who disagrees with you, the more important it is to interact with them as pleasantly and as often as you can. Breaking bread with them at lunch can break the ice between you, but only if you keep the conversation away from contentious issues during the meal.
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