The Importance of Friction

Sometimes to break the status quo we need to ask each other  uncomfortable questions, questions which put us outside our comfort zones. Shaking up the house or breaking a rut is necessary for the evolvement of a relationship or  business. Confrontation is not something that  people enjoy getting themselves into. It sparks a flurry of emotions which have the potential to temporarily blindside us from saying or doing things we would not have done under normal circumstances. In a way, it surfaces our inner thoughts and desires, and has the potential to put us into vulnerable positions. Having worked with many teams, I have come to realize that without a certain amount of friction, a team doesnt not move forward. There is too much brown nosing and very little candor. Both of these breakdown communication and ultimately lead teams in the wrong direction.

I have talked about the importance of candor in many of my prior blog posts as being a critical component of a well functioning team. A great team is one where everyone speaks their mind in context to the discussion, and challenges pre-requisites without blindly following them. Team members can then push each other to be better and to ask more of themselves. There is no doubt that there will be unpleasant times when you will get fed up with the flurry of critical statements. It is important that in this situation both the person who is asking the questions, as well as the person who is answering them, remains on topic.

When we are forced to challenge beliefs we follow blindly follow, or plans that we don not fully agree with, we cause the team to think bigger and broader thoughts. Without this friction we become stale, the competition catches up on your complacency, and soon enough you find yourself on the sidelines. Re-evaluate the presence of candor and friction within your team. Does it need shaking up? Are you the one who is going to take the first step, and wake everyone up before it is too late?

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