Conflicts are essential

Listening to Ray Dalio’s Principles on Audible, I feel that he gives voice to so many things I do instinctively in business and team building.

Most recently, his thoughts about conflicts touched a chord with me. I like constructive disagreement and believe that conflicts are essential for great relationships.

Here’s Ray Dalio’s take on this:

“Recognize that conflicts are essential for great relationships because they are how people determine whether their principles are aligned and resolve their differences. Everyone has his or her own principles and values, so all relationships entail a certain amount of negotiation or debate over how people should be with each other.  What you learn about each other will either draw you together or drive you apart. If your principles are aligned and you can work out your differences via a process of give-and-take, you will draw closer together. If not, you will move apart. Open discussion of differences ensures that there are no misunderstandings. If that doesn’t happen on an ongoing basis, gaps in perspective will widen until inevitably there is a major clash.”

I’m in agreement with Dalio that spending on the time and energy to get in sync with colleagues and partners is the best investment we can make. In my experience, once people know how to express their views assertively, in a way that won’t cross boundaries, honesty becomes the norm, people start to feel aligned with themselves and are more open to ideas and criticism.

When we manage to create a culture where disagreements are encouraged, people become more willing to learn from each other, and the team is on a way to success.



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