The Power of Tension

The culture in many corporations feels over-professionalised: It seeks to eliminate emotion from the work equation by projecting a false harmony.

Being emotional is labeled as ‘unprofessional’. In consequence open conflicts have largely disappeared and people even get trainings on how to avoid them.

This false harmony is often described as “one big family”. But families have conflicts and fights all the time. These conflicts are good, important and they are emotional.

The tension that exists in them is energy, very often a lot of energy. If we learn again to use this energy, we can make magic happen. Because behind this burst of energy you see in a conflict is passion for an idea, conviction and deep believes. Not picking a fight only means you don’t believe something is worth fighting for — or in much simpler words: You don’t care.

When we stop carrying, we stop doing an excellent job, stop disrupting markets, stop solving the tough problems and stop delivering the best possible customer experience.

Have your argument, hear the counter-argument. Get a little louder. Stand up, move around, gesticulate and draw a a big, fat, red line under that word on the whiteboard. Learn to have conflicts again, how to manage them and how to channel this incredible amount of energy so that it creates something even bigger.

Try to not sweet-talk everything today, pick a worthwhile fight instead. Show that you still care.

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