I was listening to a talk on marriage. The speaker described the positive feelings that two people tend to have when they first marry. Then he described emergent patterns of resentment, disengagement and isolation. He described people living together in cold civility while emotionally alienated. He then spoke of divorce. He indicated that most of the failed marriages could have been saved if the people knew how to relate to each other more effectively. There are basic principles that can save marriages and even more, lift people to levels of mutual enrichment.
Organizations are like marriages. People, who have offended each other, live together in the same building in cold civility. Because of this, there are no synergies, there is no spontaneous teamwork, there is just a building containing emotionally isolated people operating in begrudging relationships. I even see this is the executive suite. The financial costs are staggering.
This costly scenario is accepted because in the conventional lens we assume that conflict is natural and alienation is inevitable. In the positive lens we know that conflict can be transcended and people can flourish in relationships of high collaboration. In the positive lens we are accountable to human experience at its best.
When have I witnessed people working together in cold civility?
What is the cost of such relationships?
How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?