I don’t mean fistfight. (Although, I have fought with fists, too.)I am talking about the more white-collar and pernicious kind, the kind that is seen in office politics, corporate buyouts, and even in church bickering.You know the kind.
All you get is smiles – while behind the scenes, pieces are being moved and information is being spread that will end you.
This conflict is especially unfortunate in places like non-profits, small businesses, and churches – because everyone at these kinds of organizations should be on board with a clear, common, goal.
Conflict means that people are setting organizational goals aside, and saying: “This issue is more important.”
- “I dislike working for this person more than I care about our NGO’s aid to Africa.”
- “I want this pay, or that title, more than I want my grandfather’s business to succeed.”
- “I care about who runs this committee more than I care about this church.”
“But much of the time, when animosities and jealousies rule the day, it’s because the work simply isn’t important enough for people to put their differences aside.”
But here is the kicker.
The rub, that makes it worse.
What was the common thread in the three examples listed above?
The common thread is this: Money and Power.
Because that is nearly always what people fight over!
“Always question why this particular event has happened, what the motives of the various actors are, who really is in control, who benefits by this action. Often, it will revolve around money and power—that is what people are usually fighting over, despite the surface gloss they give to it.”
That’s the sad part about most
When the common goal is not important enough for people, they will fight. And most of the fighting is over money and power.
Don’t believe me?
Ask a soldier if there is more fighting between his fellow soldiers at home, or while they are pinned down in a firefight.
Ask a professional athlete the difference between a championship team, and a team that picks and fights over ego.
Worthwhile common goals can heal us, bring us together, and ward-off conflict.
What worthwhile common goals do you have?