Wow. Hard to believe it’s October already. Sometimes I miss arguing with my Dad. He and I could have some heated, intense discussions and disagreements. At the time, I didn’t fully appreciate our confrontations. Years later, now that he’s gone, I am thankful that he taught me how to fight for what I believe in and stand up for myself. It took me a lot of years to grasp how special this gift was that my Father had given to me.
However, if you’ve spent any length of time on this Earth, you know by now that nothing comes easy. Life doesn’t give you anything. The world is full of people who look, act, talk, and think different than you. The sooner you figure that out, the better.
I think that being able to have a heated discussion is a sign of a healthy relationship. It signifies trust. It means you’re not afraid that the person you’re arguing with is going to think any less of you or that your relationship is going to suffer because of your differences. At least not if it’s done correctly. Sure, arguments shouldn’t be mean-spirited or hateful. They shouldn’t result in physical violence. But two people being passionate about resolving a problem or seeing things differently is a good thing. It promotes growth in both individuals.
Unfortunately, disagreeing doesn’t seem very kosher in our overly politically correct society. It’s often seen as rude and disrespectful when in fact it’s simply individuals working towards a better level of understanding and reaching for a common goal; in turn, making each of them better. It’s hard to know what you agree on without knowing where your differences lie.
Experience has taught me that you get better results when two people sharpen each other, rather than simply agreeing on everything. Think of your best friend in grade school. How did you meet? Did you hit it off or did you have to weather a disagreement first?
Organizations thrive when a diversity of ideas and perspectives gather around the table to solve a problem or are striving to create and innovate. Disagreement often fuels creativity. How are we going to satisfy everyone’s needs and desires? How are we going to meet the demands of our guest and invite new customers? How will we stay ahead of the competition and avoid becoming complacent if we don’t dare to disagree and challenge the status quo. Do what you always do and you’ll get what you always get.
The next time someone challenges your thinking, embrace the opportunity. You’ll both grow. Promise.
Press on. Keep the faith.