Friction Has Potential to Destroy
We all understand the basics of a motor and the importance of motor oil. The engine is pumping at high speeds, there is contact of opposing forces that create friction. The friction creates heat which can be deadly to your engine. Motor oil is introduced into the equation to remove the heat and protect the engine from damages of scrapes and scratches.
You also need that heat to a certain extent. If you don’t have heat, how will you burn off the moisture that collects inside the engine which eventually mixes with oil and creates sludge? Just in our business we need friction (it's healthy to an extent) but you need processes built in to keep it from destroying your business.
What is Friction?
In business and personal life, friction occurs when two or more people meet with different opinions. This could be based on perceived personalities (see January 2019 article “Understanding Personalities and How to Apply Them”). It may be based on a social upbringing from parents, friends or other socioeconomic factors. It could possibly be experiences in similar or exacting situations. When two or more people are presented with a goal or scenario and options are offered up about the situation you create friction. Friction may also be called conflict, disagreements or hopefully be called Great!
How can it help
Friction is wonderful. Only when you accept something that makes you uncomfortable as a challenge that you can learn from will you ever grow. Consider trying to prepare for a 5k run by running 1 mile, feeling good and stopping. When you finally get to the 5k event, you gas out shortly after the one-mile mark. This is because of two reasons: Your body is not used to running more than that distance and your mind has been set to accept a third of your goal.
You have limited yourself to your expectations and the bar that you set is the bar you will meet. When you set your cap on your expectation you limit your potential. There is not a single reader looking at this article who knows their true potential. You are not reading anything to be content in your life I promise you.
So, when conflict comes at you, accept it as an opportunity to grow, learn and prosper. “Let the wise listen and add to their learnings and let the discerning get guidance” Proverbs 1:5 . Accepting knowledge into your life doesn’t mean that the differing person was right but means that you learned about how others think feel and act, and you can use that knowledge to grow. If you do not have friction, you cannot grow.
How can it hurt
Having too much friction can also hurt you and your business. If you do not control friction in an engine, you overheat, blow out rings, scratch and damage internal parts and ruin your engine. To help with this you have gauges and warning lights, and maintenance schedules to help you prevent these damages. In your business you have the same gauges in the terms of progress and work demeanor or morale. Having the process slow down dramatically to appease all suggestions or feelings can cripple your business. Someone inside your business whose main focus is to slow, deter or alter your business because of their own misery or failures is a cancer. They will spread their disapproval to anyone who will accept it and then quickly deteriorate your entire business until it fails.
How to control it
The cancer is very easy to fix. Once you have evaluated and understood its motive, you remove it. There is no place for a cancer in your body so there is no place for a cancer in your work. You should anticipate and encourage friction. If there is an action or program you are thinking of running, express this to your trusted group and give a certain time frame for comments and suggestions to be hashed out.
For those with their chest inflated right now, saying, “I’m the boss. I don’t need to let them discuss what’s going on,” you are completely correct. You are the boss! As the boss you should realize that it takes less time to bring up an event and do it right than to just throw something out there and see it fail, then must go back and readjust. Plus, its much easier on the ego and promotes buy in when putting the plan to work.
Do not go looking to fill your trust with a bunch of yes men. They serve no purpose in business and personal growth, they are there to make you comfortable. If two people are in the same business who think exactly alike, one is not needed.