Tag Archives: conflict

Tug and Not War Part 2 – Negative Tension on a Team

tug-of-war2This is part 2 in the “Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team” series. See Part 1

In Part 1, we looked at four words associated with tension. They are: conflict, stress, strain, or pressure.  Tension on a team can be fatal.  Teams are made of team members who are diverse to say the least.  They all have different temperaments and personalities.  Using the certain personal assessment tools overview of the diversity a team can have.  Personal Coaching and team development allows you to go to deeper levels. You learn your strengths, stresses, and passions.

The word tension can defined as, “the act of stretching or straining.”  Both are action words and both create a pull in different directions.  Both are action words and both create a pull in different directions; therefore, we get “tension”.  Note there is a positive side, “stretching”, and a negative side, “straining”.

Leaders realize that a diverse team is a good thing.  The worst thing a leader can have is a team of clones. The way I look at, I can do what I can do.  I need people around me that are good at doing things I am not good at doing.  The problem is that diversity of personalities can create negative tension.

Let me give you a list of some of the effects of negative tension:

  1. Unhealthy Competition – The right kind of “free market” competition is good, the wrong kind can kill you.  The team will begin to try to undercut their peers because they will see them as competition.
  2. Personalities – Negative tension always brings out the worst in people.  We all know the potential is there, we just suppress it.  When you get dominate, passionate people working against each other, they will butt heads more often than not.
  3. Unmet Expectations – No doubt your team has the desire to succeed or they would not be on your team.  When one fails, the team begins to fail.  The bar of success gets lowered for the team, and each person lowers their own personal goals for success.  The person who is still passionate will feel frustrated.
  4. A Martyr Mentality – They will say or feel things like, “I am the only one doing my job.  I am doing my job and their job.  It’s just not fair, etc.”  I think you get the gist.  They come across as being the ‘savior’ of the team.
  5. Disloyalty – After the other things begin to form, disloyalty will set it. First, the team members will become disloyal to each other.  Second, they will become disloyal to the leader.  Last, they will become disloyal to the cause.
  6. A Spreading Disease – When the steps of disloyalty start it will soon spread beyond the team.  Their family and friends will begin to get involved.  The people that are following the team will get a bad attitude about the team members, the leader, and the cause.
  7. Implosion – All that is left is the eulogy.  The gusto and drive is gone.  The heart of the team and the cause has been gutted.  When the vision is lost, it’s over.  Later people will look back at the team and the cause and wonder what happened.  They will think it was a faulty vision, or a lack opportunity and resources, but the real problem would be “negative tension.”

To read more material by Dr. Agan, go to www.rodneyagan.com

Article by Rodney Agan

@rodneyagan

Articles  |  Bio

Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team

This is part 1 in the “Tug and Not War – Tension on a Team” series.

When you see the word tension, you usually think about things like conflict, stress, strain, or pressure.  No leader wants these things for his team.  These things will cause a team to self-destruct.  It will implode and destroy anything connected to it.

Leaders spend a great deal of time working on relieving tension from the team.  By the time a leader realizes that tension is present on his team, it is probably already causing trouble.  The results of tension are simply acknowledging the deeper problems that have been missed or left unchecked.

In this opening post dealing with tension, let’s take a closer look at the four words already given that are usually linked to it:

  1. CONFLICT keeps a team from working smoothly and orderly.  It pits people against each other and breeds the wrong kind of competition.  Conflict creates a “look out for #1” mentality.  Instead of working like a team, they will work like individual enemies.
  2. STRESS causes nerves and tempers to flare.  When people are operating under stress they will not act rationally.  Decisions will be made more out of desperation and revenge than logic.  They will operate more in reaction mode than action mode.
  3. STRAIN makes for an unhappy environment.  Creativity is stifled because no one wants to be there.  Team members stop conversing on a personal level.  They begin to highlight only the negative issues they see, and that is all they WILL see.  When strained, teams do not have each other’s back, and will soon start to undercut the others on the team.
  4. PRESSURE is a sign of deeper problems.  Just like a fever is the indicator of an infection or something more serious, pressure affects a team the same way. It reveals that there are problems on the team.  Ask questions like: Who is it affecting? What is causing it? When is it most prevalent? Why has it not been alleviated? How can we solve it and keep the team intact?

In the next posts, I will be dealing with negative and positive tension on a team.  It will require you to be honest with the results you find and willing to do something about it.

To read more material by Dr. Agan, go to www.rodneyagan.com

Article by Rodney Agan

@rodneyagan

Articles  |  Bio

A Forgotten Regulation

It’s one we don’t think about. I imagine you haven’t heard a sermon on it in a long time, if ever. It first came up in Deuteronomy and was re-emphasized a few times in the New Testament. More importantly, it has incredible potential to keep you and me out of deep messes. We can hardly imagine why it is important at all, but it got enough mileage in Scripture to show us the Lord thought it a worthy concept.

What is this mysterious and forgotten regulation? The requirement that we have two or three witnesses to establish the validity of a word or matter (Deut. 19:15) is the one that needs to make a comeback in our generation. Think of how we establish a matter. We accept a whisper, we seize a rumor, and the worse the report the sooner we believe it. We so believe it that we feel it such an established fact that we have the right to tell it far and wide. Such is the genesis of broken friendships, wounded hearts, assassinated reputations, and of course, a sin itself. This doesn’t even cover the fact that it is blatantly unchristian and repeatedly forbidden.

The Lord knew what He was doing when He gave us this regulation. He knew conflict would arise among us and He knew we might not always play fair. So He took precautions for us. It protects us from both directions.  On the one hand, it’s so easy for someone to make up a charge in a moment of vindictiveness, or at least so exaggerate the situation that it no longer resembles what actually happened. If there’s a requirement of two or three witnesses, unless they conspire together, it will rule that out. At the very least, it will greatly lower the chances of a false accusation getting through. This makes a great principle obvious. Don’t form opinions by the word of one person, even if a good one, because you never know what complications in life may color his or her judgment. Also, we should check our own conclusions by those of others because it’s so cheap and easy to form a harsh opinion. You can check and see if others you respect have the same opinion.

Don’t form opinions by the word of one person, even if a good one, because you never know what complications in life may color his or her judgment.

Secondly, this can lead us through church troubles. Such crises usually denigrate into who can garner the most support as if it were but a popularity contest. But, praise the Lord, we don’t have to settle matters that way. I look for two or three witnesses, and if they are not available, I turn it over to God. Isn’t this what Matthew 18:15-20 is all about? Then personalities are irrelevant and we have a clear path through the mess.

There’s something to this two-or-three-witnesses thing. Do you suppose it has something to with why we are sent out two-by-two to witness of our Lord?

There is a lot of junk in this sin-cursed world. Perhaps, though, there wouldn’t be quite as much if we would but remember a carefully-defined, yet mostly-forgotten, regulation our Lord gave us long ago.

Article by Jimmy Reagan

fb:jimmy.reagan.5

Articles  |  Bio