Last week I challenged my daughter to go on a couple runs through famous parks in London & Paris. She resisted both times, which led to conflict. We working through it. In fact, we grew closer, got to understand each other better, and the rest of both days went great. She told me she was glad she started off each day with exercise.
2 statements I hear from my clients often, “I hate conflict” & “I hate change”. Variations are, “I can’t handle it” & “I can’t change because I’m too old, inexperienced, etc.”. CAN’T is a cuss word. It damages your mental health. Replace it with “I’m learning”, “Its hard”, “I’m getting better”, “I’m making progress” or other phrases that express potential.
Healthy conflict builds & creates intimacy. Avoiding conflict creates & increases anxiety. Nothing perpetuates anxiety like avoiding what YOU KNOW you must address.
Healthy conflict is a major employee motivator, among some other foolproof ways to motivate your team. Read more below.
Foolproof Ways to Motivate Your Team
1. Make Conflict Safe
Healthy conflict builds & creates intimacy. Avoiding conflict creates & increases anxiety. Nothing creates more fear & anxiety than avoiding what you know you must address.
Leaders create an environment where conflict is valued and viewed as helpful. You can share opinions even when you disagree. Team members are encouraged to be themselves and take risks. Strengths and shortcomings are respected. Members can honestly share frustrations without it being used against them. Leaders are rigorous with their own honesty as nobody trusts without transparency. Conflict resolution skills are applied through the organization.
Work Lacks Emotional Safety When …..
- Peoples are not held accountable to work expectations
- Bad behavior is tolerated (e.g. gossip, dishonesty, etc.)
- Leaders lack personal follow through (e.g. they don’t do what they say they are going to do)
- Leadership lacks a unified message about the direction of the company
- Diversity is lacking in its various forms (age, gender, cultural, ect.)
Make Your Team Safer by …….
- Own your own failures and shortcomings
- Teaching members how to listen effectively and communicate opinions in a non-threatening fashion
- Leaders are rigorous in their honesty (with tact & good time, not mean)
- Having clear expectations for everyone
- Addressing poor behavior swiftly (sometimes through termination)
- Following through on commitments
- Respecting and considering different viewpoints
- Removing toxic people swiftly
- Encourage members 5 times more than you correct them
2. Foster Healthy Connection
They consistently create opportunities for relationships to form and go deeper. Members spend quality time together. Activities are intentionally planned, and everyone looks forward to these times together. They have FUN together as a team!
Encourage Connection at Work by ….
- Planning regular social gatherings (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
- Using icebreakers and conversation starters consistently at meetings
- Learning together (e.g. reading books, attending training & conferences, etc.)
- Engaging in fun activities (e.g. games, meals, escape rooms, axe throwing, etc.)
- Utilizing a personality tool like the DISC to better understand one another.
- Learning how to listen by paraphrasing what the other person said to prove you understood.
- Curiously asking great questions to get people thinking.
3. Highlight the Meaning Behind Everything
Many companies have core values, goals, and vision statements, yet very few companies consistently reinforce what these things mean. YOU CAN’T TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF TOO MUCH. Highlight the backstory consistently, creatively, and repeatedly. Improve your work environment by talking openly with your team with your team about why you exist (purpose), how you act (values), where you’re heading (vision), the history, why you’re so passionate about helping people this way. Making major decisions (e.g. purchasing a building, hiring, partnerships, etc.) ONLY when they align with your company purpose, values, and vision.
How to Convey Meaning
- Post goals for all to see, and review them consistently
- Why you’re so passionate about helping people this way
- Discuss your company/family core values and show stories of employees living them out
- Frequently discus your company/family purpose, mission, and vision
- Engage in company and family traditions consistently, plan them into the schedule
- Create new traditions and discuss the meaning behind them
- Only hire people and contract with people that align with you values, purpose, and vision (e.g. The Meaning)
- Celebrate when members live out the purpose, mission, vision, and values
- Talk about the history of your company and family
Below is an image that illustrates the Connection, Conflict & Meaning model. All 3 are crucial to motivating your team. Hire Decide Your Legacy to work with your team on applying this model throughout your organization.
Create a great team or family culture by focusing on connection, conflict, and meaning. Follow the race car driver’s axiom that says, “You have to slow down in order to go fast.” I hope is that you slow down enough to evaluate your family or workplace in these three areas.
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