Is the Fear of Conflict Killing Your Business?

Is the Fear of Conflict Killing Your Business?

by ray stasieczko September 20, 2020

"Those who continue to feed off comfort will die of malnutrition for comfort in business will not nourish continued relevance."  

There's a great book titled "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team." The book was published in 2002, and today its message is still so relevant. I recommend all the Document Imaging Channel's leaders read this book at least twice. Actually, all business leaders from all industries will find the book worthy of reading.  

Patrick M. Lencioni, the book's author, describes "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team." as 

1.   Absent of Trust

2.   Fear of Conflict

3.   Lack of Commitment

4.   Avoidance of Accountability

5.   Inattention to Results

In this article, I want to share my thoughts on how dysfunction number two, Fear of Conflict, is destroying the document imaging channel's chances to reinvent itself. 

Patrick defines Fear of Conflict as- Seeking artificial harmony over constructive passionate debate. 

Over the last decade, there has been more focus in seeking harmony in status quo then fighting for relevance. These (Seeking Harmony Parties) were plentiful pre-virus, and still today on Zoom, we can find the gatherings of all those in fear of a different future. 

Fear will always lead to coveting comfort.

Why are some in the channel still obsessed with seeking comfort over the needed pain for improvement? Do they not realize the problems they are creating?

The easiest way to determine you are in the presence of an insecure leader. Is to listen to the reasons they stifle something new or disruptive to the established method. 

We have all heard the Self-Survival Excuses. In other words, the new way could eliminate the old way, and thereby those who can't imagine alternatives will remain steadfast to status quo. Even if that Status Quo eventually kills them, and nearly always these folks fall victim. 

"Think about the executives who quickly quote what those above them think, unfortunately rarely do those above them know they are being quoted." 

Why is there so much fear? I blame leadership because leadership is always the decider of an organization's protocols. 

It seems as those leaders who rely on others to help them navigate through disruptions better take the time to go downstream and question their navigators' realities. A declining industry in need of a major overhaul as the document Imaging Channel is - must put before all; the business's current and future relevance even if that new relevance eliminates once sacred cows, as they say. 

Leaders can longer accept that those they have trusted are eager to bring attention to things or ideas that cause them to be insecure of their place in the future. During disruptive times the possibilities imagined may indeed scare many into complacency. 

 "Those insecure of their place in the future will hide in the shadows of status quo."

Ironically all those who repeatedly avoided conflict in hopes of extending the tenure of their status quo - will always be surprised when their tenure is up. 

"When leaders focus on why things won't work, they are fighting to remain in the past; when leaders focus on how things could work, they are exploring the future." 

During disruptive times and all must agree this pandemic is absolutely disruptive for many industries. The Document Imaging Channel is not alone in experiencing a prequel to the post virus world. 

This pandemic has caused an evolutionary event and has increased the speed in which may technologies will replace and change many of the comforts of a pre-virus world. Leaders must weed out complacency form the chairs in the decision rooms and the hallways of the rank and file management; leaders must welcome constructive conflict. Leaders must eliminate the useless obsession in Seeking artificial harmony.

"Leaders must recognize their management teams insecurities otherwise innovating could be derailed or sabotaged."

Leaders in all ranks must spend time down ranks to evaluate for themselves that which they trust is being assessed. Nothing can be assumed during unprecedented times, and when there is strong evidence of teams seeking harmony, that harmony must be questioned. 

The five dysfunctions, as outlined by Patrick Lencioni, are all valuable. However, it is that Fear of Conflict that will absolutely destroy all good intentions of constant relevance. Leaders make sure there are no harmony filters trapping needed conflict in silence to protect the status quo.  

There are many threats and opportunities for those bold enough to seek them out. There has never been a better time to explore the once unknown. Those leaders who have both boldness and curiosity will prevail. Unfortunately, those who have in the past and continue seeking artificial harmony over the pain of improvement will perish in complacency. 

There are great team members in all organizations waiting for direction so give them the guidance they seek and create environments that welcome, more importantly, demand constructive conflict. Don't be fooled that getting along without constructive conflict is a sign of great leadership. In-fact it's a sign of weakness.

"Those leaders who never raise the bar and brag about how great everyone gets along, are foolishly being led into obsolescence."

During disruptive times or during the time you intend to disrupt. Let your competitors surround themselves in harmony camps and as they sit around pacifying and unwarrantedly complementing each other. Go take their customers.

Business leadership is not for the weak it never was and will never be. Leadership is the ability to drive an agenda through teams, and most importantly, leadership is the ability to create teams who challenge each other they also avoid artificial harmony and are not afraid to question those who lead them.

These are challenging times; however, tough times weed out complacency and tough times allow those with confidence of their place in a different future, tremendous opportunities to flourish in the future they help create. 

Remember this, my friends.

Status Quo is the killer of all that will be invented.  

Ray Stasieczko 

CEO/Founder TEASRA,The Innovation Channel and Host of The End of The Day With Ray!

I welcome everyone to subscribe to my YouTube Channel

If not already Let's connect here on Linkedin

ray stasieczko
ray stasieczko


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