Whenever the word tension is heard within any organization, whether it is a corporate business or an evangelical church in Dubai, people usually think that it’s something that must either be avoided or resolved right away. That, however, shouldn’t always be the case, as there are times – and there are many of them – when they’re actually beneficial for an institution.
However, like fire, for tension to become beneficial, it needs to be harnessed properly. And in order for you to be able to do so, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
No Tension is a Problem
If the institution you’re in is sailing a little bit too smoothly, then there may be something wrong. It’s not that you’re looking for people who disagree with each other in your organization; it’s just that the lack of tension could mean that your organization is beginning to stagnate, that there is no longer anyone in it who has enough passion to bring up their ideas and risk being at odds with a person or two for what they believe could help everyone.
Healthy Tension Isn’t Conflict
It may not seem like it, but there is actually a big difference between healthy tension and conflict. While both of them naturally occur in any organization, tension usually happens because two opposing persons or groups both have something to offer to the table, it’s just that they happen to be contradictory with each other. Conflict, on the other hand, happens because their disagreement has reached a personal level. And once things get personal, that’s when they get problematic.
Be an Advocate for Both Sides
As a leader, it’s only right that you’re not biased between two parties that are in tension. However, being unbiased doesn’t mean not siding with either; instead, it’s about supporting the good ideas both sides can offer. For in the same way that healthy competition improves the services offered by two rival companies, healthy tension helps cultivate the ideas and suggestions of each side.
Two Important People
However, it’s never enough that two opposing sides both have something good to offer, as each of them should have these two important people: the ones who are very passionate about a particular idea, and the ones who are mature enough to both take into consideration the suggestions of the other side and recognize when they have to either revise or relinquish their position.
These two kinds of people balance each other out, allowing each side to provide fresh insights and have a respectful dialogue with each other. Without the former, each side won’t be able to provide helpful insights, while the lack of the latter could spell conflict. In fact, if there is conflict that arises from tension, it’s not because of the tension, but because people on each side – or even worse, both – have a personality problem, which must be resolved.
Without tension there could be no, if not much less, innovation and revolution within an organization. However, just like every necessary element in an institution, balance and proper management is needed to make the most out of it.