Cornerstone of Trust-P2


Continuing the series, today we move from why vulnerability helps relationships thrive into how lack thereof hurts it - speaking directly into conflict. Before we jump in, the basis of all this information is gathered from one of my favorite books, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (with 1,782 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, my guess it's a lot of people's favorite book too).


Having vulnerability allows us to engage in healthy conflict. Conflict is good.


Despite our internal reactions to the word, conflict can be a vehicle of change and progress rather than of pain. Unfortunately we've all been in situations where we've tried to bring up sensitive matters, hoping for resolution, and it didn't pan out. We tip-toed onto that bridge of trust, bearing all the weight of our burden on it, only for it break sending us crashing down. Naturally we're gonna have high guards when we come to a similar situations. For some it can even cause a no-go zone - caution tape, biohazard suits, zombies - you name it. But what's lost when we don't engage in conflict is priceless.

When we embrace conflict we benefit from:

  • hearing all the information, experience, talent from the group.
    • The people you're around has much more information than you know. Embracing conflict, allowing others to speak up, enables you to gain access vast insight.
  • learning from mistakes corporately.
    • Often times when mistakes are made, we try to deflect and minimize responsibility in order to protect something. However in a culture that embraces vulnerably, the team can talk about mistakes and come to a holistic solution (borrowing from everyone's experience) to better processes and outcomes of the group as a whole.
  • quicker decisions.
    • In a culture that's afraid of conflict, important decisions will take a eon to make. Afraid of stepping on toes, or bringing up subjects will trump direction and clarity. Many times these decisions are critical to the success of the team or project.  


If we don't embrace nor encourage conflict, back channeling will become prevalent which kills company morale.


Hence why trust is SO important. Working under an umbrella of trust allows people to engage transparently in conflict - welcoming all subjects to the table. Having vulnerability means that in the middle of heated conversation, people assume what is said has the best intentions behind it, even if it's not felt. It takes practice for sure - because assuming the best isn't our natural instinct. 

Tomorrow I'll cover simple ways to build trust.