Friday, February 3, 2012

A Best of Barry: Conflict, criticism and candor

At my company, LaBov & Beyond Marketing Communications and Training, we surveyed our employees on two things: 1) What do you like most about our company and 2) What about our company would you like to change?

One thing that our employees love is our culture of entrepreneurialism--they love our high standards, intensity and tremendous client list.

One thing they wanted to improve is how we deal with each other in regard to criticism and dealing with conflict.

We're tackling that as I write this. We'll succeed, but I think it will be a challenge. If we want to do great work to exceed our clients' expectations, it will require total dedication and open communication. That means we can't avoid conflict or criticism because that will erode our performance--we all need that feedback to do our best.

It sounds easy, but it's not. We've worked with clients that ran their business like a church or volunteer organization where it was all pleasantries and conflict avoidance. We've also worked with clients that all but had fistfights in the cafeteria every day. Neither resulted in a healthy organization.

So, we can't avoid the truths, but we can't trample on the spirit. The good news is that by facing it and addressing it, progress is already being made.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond
Originally posted 12/12/10

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