In business, and life in general, we are often faced with various issues and challenges that can become a source of conflict. The pressure to comply and to participate in group think is a real and honest aspect of doing business in 2015. This fact is true for many reasons.
#1 No one wants to be different
It is a natural social norm that most people do not want to be perceived as different.
To ” go against the grain” sometimes, can be as uncomfortable as showing up at an All White Theme party, wearing a black tux. You instantly stand out in the crowd, and the reaction may not always be the one that you want .
#2 Conflict Avoidance
If the majority of people within a business environment of organization hold the same belief systems and strategies, sometimes the person who doesn’t hold those same beliefs sticks out like a sore thumb.
It is these scenarios that cause people to shrink back in business and become “yes” people. When this happens, they begin to agree with any and everything in an effort to avoid conflict and maintain peace- even at the cost of their creative freedom.
#3 Social Acceptance
Everyone fundamentally wants to be accepted. In business, the same is true. People want their clients, colleagues, mentors, mentees, investors, and more to view them as competent and capable. Going against the grain, can shift the opinion of these publics sometimes, causing fear of the unknown.
#4 Perceived Loss of Opportunity
Difference in opinion, can also cause the loss of opportunities sometimes. It is an ongoing challenge in the business world. Should I ignore the unfair wages at my company or should I speak out on it and risk termination? Should I speak out on my client’s ill treatment of its workers and risk losing the client? These are examples of potential problems that a person may fear when considering going against the grain.
#5 Fear of Innovation
Lastly, many people have a fear of conflict. However, it has been my observation that conflict, though uncomfortable at times, leads to innovation. The beautiful thing is that Innovation leads to change.
When Rosa Parks refused to get up from her seat on the bus decades ago, the conflict of that situation sparked the people around her. It was an uncomfortable time in history, but it created innovation in the country. It set off a chain of events that sparked the minds of others which created innovation. And this innovation, eventually led to change.
So the next time you are under pressure at your job, in your business, and with your clients, remember this. You don’t have to pretend like your favorite color is blue if it is really red.