In an earlier article, I spoke about loyalty being the #1 issue facing corporate leaders today. In it, I explained that “fear of conflict” often lies at the root of loyalty issues because when employees don’t know how to handle conflict, loyalty erodes faster than a sandbag in a tidal wave.
So now I’d like to take you a bit deeper into this whole thing…
Corporate Cultural Safety what is it, and how does it relate to dealing with conflict and creating loyalty?
“Corporate Culture” is many things: However, at its core, it is how people think and act in relation to the organization.
Yes, it is a set of spoken or unspoken rules or a code of conduct.
It’s what will get you chastised or applauded, promoted or fired, praised or damned.
I’m sorry, but your Corporate Cultural Safety falls apart when the people involved do NOT have a safe place to express who they are. Sadly, this is far too common. Without this safe space trust erodes and as you may or may not know, trust is one of the primary elements of high productivity.
Just think about it, and you’ll see it make perfect sense: Imagine that a highly insightful or creative members of your team doesn’t feel safe to speak their truth, it’s easy to see that they will shut down. This in turn sends the message that the individual is not safe to explore new or innovative ideas.
I know you have rules and procedures for a reason…Right?
When you or I feel that there’s no safe place for vulnerability we cannot be open or honest with each other. If we cannot be open and honest with each other we will naturally begin to fear ridicule and or some form of shaming. When we fear shaming, we play within the lines to avoid getting “punished”. The result; innovation is suffocated!
When there is no trust, people simply don’t produce their best work.
It’s as simple as that!
As the demand for higher and higher levels of innovation are required for us to flourish, now more than ever we need leaders who are committed to developing high levels of self-knowledge and emotional intelligence. Until we commit to understanding and developing the skills rated to Human Dynamic (How people interact with each other and themselves) we will struggle!
Without a strong foundation of trust in your Corporate Culture, you end up generating a subculture (that will eventually become dominant). A culture that will become silently adversarial in nature and thus becomes politically driven rather than innovation and growth driven. As a result, the team begins to disengage and commitment fades fast.
If you want a corporate culture in which individuals, their ideas and the organization flourish, as a leader who is in turn developing leaders, you MUST develop a way to facilitate healthy conflict. If you don’t, nothing else you do will make much difference.
- “Fear of conflict” is detrimental to the growth of your organization. Authentic, effective leaders must become masters of conflict and help those they lead to develop those skills as well
- What your corporate culture is and what you think it is may be very different.
- When your team does not feel safe expressing who they are, trust begins to fall apart.
- When your culture is not based on trust, ideas and innovation get repressed.
- Lack of trust in a Corporate Culture generates a subculture (that becomes dominant) that is silently adversarial
- For individuals, their ideas and the organization to flourish, your corporate culture MUST have a way to facilitate healthy conflict.
A healthy Corporate Culture needs to be is an internal representation of the vision, mission and most importantly the PURPOSE of the organization.
So here’s a few tough questions: (If you are honest enough to answer them):
What is your (real) Corporate Culture?
Is it a safe place for the expression of the individual or are people shushed?
What are you doing to fascinate safety and healthy conflict?
I look forward to hearing from you and I trust that you found this article valuable. If so feel free to send this to your friends. I eagerly anticipate your feedback and comments. Please share, like and comment below!
If you are fascinated by culture dive into this video about corporate culture lessons I learned from Australia:
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