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2 min readYour Professional Maturity At Stake

by Guy Gage | October 27, 2019 | Business, Leadership, Performance, Personal Management

Don’t you just hate it when your professional maturity is reduced to fitting into categories, labels and quadrants? It’s not right. You are a human being, not a data point. You’re unique—no one else is exactly like you. Neither are your clients or colleagues.

At the same time, you and everyone else have natural tendencies that are predictable and consistent. I’ve written before about using various models to understand and manage yourself. But you can also use it to understand and work through conflict, which is evidence of your professional maturity.

Work Through Conflict

For example, let’s say your tendency leans to the “get it right” side of a certain continuum, which means you have more tolerance for the time it takes to plan the work to ensure it will be right. You may easily be in conflict with one who is more on the “make it happen” side, which means they have more tolerance for getting started and making changes and corrections along the way.  You have a bias for ensuring quality; the other has a bias for movement and action. You obviously want both quality AND action, just like the other person does.

Don’t Create Another Problem

But most likely, you and your colleague will get caught into a fray about which end of the continuum should predominate, so you fight, argue and use logic to persuade. When the other person won’t budge, you begin to assign motive as to why they won’t cooperate—they want to sabotage your efforts, are self-serving, want to BE right rather than to GET it right, or worse. And the other person is questioning your motives as well.

A Different Way

Unfortunately, you’ve just created a new problem, so now you have two. Not only is the issue about how to get the best result for the client, but you’ve inadvertently added an issue of mistrust in the other person on the project.

So, rather than get derailed by questioning each other’s motives for holding out, it would be better to reframe the focus. Don’t guess the other person’s intentions. Instead, ask the question (which is actually a template), “How can we do this while accounting for that?

  • How can we take the time to plan correctly while expediting the process?”’
  • How can we meet the regulatory requirements while staying on budget?”
  • How can we meet the client’s requests while protecting our staff’s time off?”

Once you and your counterpart are on the same page solving the same problem, you will be surprised at how innovative your solutions will be. Now you’re on the same side solving the problem instead of opposite sides solving the problem your way.

Don’t be fooled. This isn’t easy and will require extraordinary professional maturity. You will have to be patient, don’t digress and remain focused.  Not everyone can do it but with some effort and tenacity, I know you can.

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