Since I’ve started using this blog for more professional than personal observations, I’ve stayed away from political discussions. However, the recent primary election results have compelled me to comment.
Despite your political leanings, it is clear that the last two significant elections have been driven by voter sentiment that is the polar opposite of whatever party is in power. The outcome seems to have become a divisive “I don’t want to work with you” attitude. As I watch the evening news, I feel like I’m watching grown adults behave like my 6 year old having a tantrum because he doesn’t want to do his chores.
And the result is that we have a system dominated by groups that hold on to their opinions so strongly that no one wants to work together — and eventually nothing happens.
I’m all for strong opinions. It’s why people like me have jobs and why companies and non-profits bring in consultants. Let’s face it we don’t gravitate toward milquetoast personalities.
But the reality is that 99% of us get paid to get work done (unless you are a reality TV star). And eventually you have to work with others to do that.
Some conflict is good and can help push conversations forward. However, when faced with looming deadlines or a tense situation there is still work to be done. Then it’s time to open up and figure out a way to work together.
I’m kicking off a web governance project with a client today. This is sure to be a tense conversation involving people’s expertise, their feelings, perceptions of their work and more. But at the end of it all, I am confident that the professionals I work with who are tasked with managing an organization will realize that they need to get things done and they’ll find a way to work together.
After all, we all can’t be politicians and reality TV stars. So let’s check our egos, open our ears (and our minds) and find a way to work together.