In the corporate world you have three kinds of people. There are the good, bad, and those sitting on the fence. In candor, most of the time the division is quite simple. There are those that help and there is everyone else. Everything else includes those openly opposed to the change or action being proposed as well as those that are passively resistive. Whatever form the barrier takes, these individuals and groups are not helpful.
There are some that want to believe everyone is on our side. It doesn’t matter what side we hold, the premise is that others support good ideas. Not just some, all. To date, I have not found any idea so compelling that there was no opposition. Someone always has a caution, alternative, and reason for not supporting the course of action.
As we revise our plans and approach, some on the team find the fact that there is opposition is discouraging. I see this response as a missed opportunity. The reality of someone having a different viewpoint is a call to engagement with her/him. It takes two parties with a shared commitment; a willingness to share, hear and be part of something more.
The first step rests in recognizing the difference. In a spiritual context, a writer commented on the differences. “These people belong to the Christ-denying world. They talk the world’s language and the world eats it up. But we come from God and belong to God. Anyone who knows God understands us and listens.” (1 John 4.5)
Frequently, in the corporate world as in life, there is a polarization of the conversation. There is a your idea or mine, only one will win, theme across everything. It is clear, then and now, that this conversation only ensures that the divide between the two sides will continue to grow.
There is an option, dialogue. We can learn about the other. We can listen and respect the other. If we do not know or understand, ask first. Today the contrast is visible in every direction. It is a call to engage.