The Art of Straddling the Thin Line

One of the strongest desires I had of my professional career was to develop self-directed group dynamics, infused with dual proportions of conflict and peaceful dialogue.

As in the seedling laboring to break through the soil, conflict reflects the struggle to evolve. Change rarely occurs without resistance and its critical determinant is the means toward its resolution. The journey takes us from chaos and confusion to lucidity and structure.

Many subscribe to the belief that the means justify the ends. However, this is fodder for the cycle of revolution and counterrevolution. Instead, the means should be as lofty and worthy as the ends.

This principle, hopefully, is a defining one and not a mere platitude. It has to be sacrosanct. Naturally, it is the most challenging way. Yet, it has the potential to create a dynamic organization dedicated to continuous enhancements in promoting ever-distant visions.

The art of the thin line demands endurance and the acceptance of temporary failures. A few examples of the proverbial thin line (or balance) are: empathy vs. enabling – assertiveness vs. ego-management – tolerance vs. accountability. It is not often precise how a team handles the myriad of human complexities. One thing that I believe is essential is to retain an outside facilitator who is skilled in team development.

It’s a painful journey and its synergistic possibilities are fraught with colossal failures. However, the process, like that seedling, will bloom into more whole human beings and lead to an amazing impact in both profit and not for profit organizations.

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