Graceful Giving — and Receiving
Conflict brings to mind so many emotions, most of them negative. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Changing the way you look at conflict will change the outcome, which was a point captured by an astute group I recently had the pleasure of working with.
In a workshop this past weekend with The Sustainability Project, their Board and key volunteers were exploring ways to further develop their team. You may recall that TSP was one of the two winners I announced for the Graceful Giving program and I’ve been excited for this day since my very first call with them. Their mission resonates deeply with me and their commitment to it is evident.
At The Sustainability Project, everyone on the team truly likes each other, indeed they are a family tied together whether actually related or not. So bringing up an issue feels unkind and uncomfortable to them. But even when we have very close, meaningful relationships, we are going to have conflict. The magic happens when we figure out to work through it productively.
Avoiding or discounting the opportunity to address conflict doesn’t make it go away. As we explored the ramifications of not addressing an issue, even something small, they came to a new realization. Rather than feeling like conflict could harm, they now saw it as a way for growth.
By giving someone honest feedback, for example, conflict allows a person to improve, develop, and/or become more aware of what is needed. This brings out the best–for the person and the organization. One participant spontaneously captured the essence perfectly when she remarked, “It’s Graceful Giving and Receiving.”