Conflicts WITHIN the Organization

These days, the conflicts “IN” The Workplace” seem to dominate the headlines … but what about the conflicts “WITHIN” the workplace?

This anonymous story suggests the outline of such conflicts, and introduces us to the kinds of conflicts that destroy teams.

A large ocean liner was headed across the Atlantic from Portsmouth to New York. As it neared its destination at night, a lookout on the wing of the bridge reported,

"Light, bearing on the starboard bow."

"Is it steady or moving astern?" the captain called out.

The lookout replied,

"Steady, captain,"

which meant that they were on a collision course. The captain then called to the signalman,

"Signal that ship: We are on a collision course, advise you change course 20 degrees."

Back came a signal,

"Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees."

The Captain said, 

"Send, I'm a Captain, change course 20 degrees."

"'I'm a seaman, second class,' came the reply. 'You had better change course 20 degrees."

By that time the captain was furious. He spat out,

"Send, This is the mighty ocean liner, HMS Franconia. Change course 20 degrees."

Back came the flashing light,

"This is a lighthouse, suggest you change course 20 degrees."

A Trio of Quotes

Attitude can be everything

It’s the attitude, isn’t it? I’m the boss … you’re not … so listen to me and do what I say.

If you’ve tried that, you probably learned it doesn’t work too well.

These quotes tells the story about why there’s conflict within the workplace and why so many people do nothing to fix it.

Conflict avoidance is a dangerous proposition, and these quotes also summarize that dilemma.

Consensus is NOT the goal

Encourage different points of view. Sponsor debate. Promote a “no penalty environment”, NOT a “no conflict” workplace.

Otherwise, you’ll find that the quote below will be exactly what you get.

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