I was thinking about some of the life-learning and wisdom of Nathaniel Branden, half-convinced in my mind that I was remembering a quote accurately, that Nathaniel Branden had written "disagree" and "disagreeable" much like I thought in the title of this entry.
I did find a phrase, something like I remembered and put it in fuller context at bottrom. But first some thoughts from the departed.
We do not hear the term "compassionate" applied to business executives or entrepreneurs, certainly not when they are engaged in their normal work. Yet in terms of results in the measurable form of jobs created, lives enriched, communities built, living standards raised, and poverty healed, a handful of capitalists has done infinitely more for mankind than all the self-serving politicians, academics, social workers, and religionists who march under the banner of "compassion".
The best companies, the best departments, and the best staffs are those where everyone feels comfortable and confident in their decisions. They are free from fear of retribution or humiliation.
- Set a standard of personal integrity. Keep your promises, and honor your commitments. Deal with everyone fairly, and support this behavior in others. Give your people the pride of working for a moral company.
- Find out the central interests of your people. Give people opportunities to do what they enjoy most and do best. Build on people’s strengths.
- Give assignments that stimulate personal and professional growth. Stretch your people by assigning tasks and projects slightly beyond their known capabilities.
- Give your people opportunities to practice self-responsibility. Give them space to take the initiative, volunteer ideas, attempt new tasks, expand their range and make mistakes.
- Challenge the seniority tradition. Promote on the basis of merit. The recognition of ability is one of the great inspirers of self-respect and enthusiasm for the organization.
- Show that it is safe to make a mistake. Let people feel free to say “I don’t know, but I will find out.” To evoke fear of error or ignorance is to invite deception, inhibition and an end to creativity.
DEALING WITH CONFLICT
- Show that it is safe to disagree with you. Convey respect for differences of opinion. Do not punish dissent.
- Important: Disagreement does not have to be disagreeable.
- Make eye contact and listen actively. Offer appropriate feedback, and give the speaker the experience of being heard.
- Never permit conflicts of personalities. Keep encounters about work task-centered, not ego-centered. The focus needs to be on reality – “What is the situation? What does the work require? What needs to be done?”
- Provide reasons for rules and guidelines when they are not self-evident. Explain why you cannot accommodate certain requests. Don’t merely hand down orders.
Thinking of someone with whom I have useful disagreements.
Watauga Lake, Tennessee.