Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dissin' me

I was inspired today by Tom Asacker’s post on dissent. Seemed to fit well into what I believe is a huge problem in corporate culture as well as personal relationships: the lack of vocalizing disagreement. Creating an environment that prohibits or frowns upon dissent is not just a corporate communications issue, as Asacker relates, but a cultural problem. No one fights right anymore. I don't remember the last time I was vehemently disagreed with and that's certainly not because I'm always right. I can, however, recount multiple times people have disagreed in passive ways.

Maybe we’ve bought into the negative connotation that’s so frequently assigned to disagreement. Maybe the “You’re either with us or you’re against us” stance is making headway into our mores. Wherever the blame resides, our understanding of dissent is not accurate or healthy.

I also think mainstream communication has a lot to do with the dilution of conflict. We enjoy tools of passivity such as e-mail, cell phones, text messaging, etc. E-mail is a chickenshoot way of dealing with a disagreement. We don’t do a lot of face to face anymore.

Communication isn't always easy, and it shouldn't be. Disagreement is even harder to voice. But it's good pain, to fight right, and a worthy risk.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mike Swenson said...

I couldn't agree more with your post. I have always had the philosophy that "friends can fight" and have tried to implement that in the workplace environment. You have to have creative tension to get to the best ideas.

12:30 PM  

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