Whenever you have moving parts, there will be some kind of friction. The same thing happens when you drive for success. You will get into friction with other people along the way from time to time. Sometimes, you will not avoid real verbal fights or debates. Knowing how to manage these debates and fights is core to how successful you will ultimately become.
One important thing that we all need to learn and master is the practice of keeping professional fights professional. If you end up fighting with someone in your role at work or in business, you should not necessarily hate the person because the likelihood is that just as you were doing your work, he or she was also possibly doing their job. Professional fights must remain professional. Do not drag professional differences into personal relationships.
After all, we all have various legal personalities. You may be an officer, supervisor or manager at work while at home you are a father or mother, and to your spouse, you are a husband or wife. You may also be an elder or chairman at your church and player or captain in a social football or netball team, and so on.
With this matrix kind of roles and responsibilities, we cannot afford to make permanent the differences we end up having with a person or group of people.
Recently, I met a friend who was my classmate in secondary school. We hadn’t met for a long time. He told me a very interesting story. When we were in Form IV, this friend was elected head prefect for the school. In that role, he ended up in a fight with one of the students, having found the student breaking one of the major school rules. The student in question did not cooperate with the head prefect when the student leader was engaging him to settle the matter before it could reach the school administration. Eventually, the head prefect was left with no option but to escalate the issue to school administration.
In the end, the student was expelled from the school on disciplinary grounds. He struggled with his school, went to a Distant Education Centre (DEC) and then some small private secondary school until he found his way to university. That happened in the early to mid 1990s. The two never met since the expulsion from school until a couple of years ago.
When they met, the ex-head prefect was worried, thinking that the other student would have grudges against him. But, to his surprise, the other student welcomed him with a smile and they had a good reunion and chat. Basically, the other student seemed to have understood that the head prefect had been doing his job and there was nothing personal about what he did in that role. He would possibly have done the same thing in the circumstances. That is the professional way of handling such issues. There is no need to mix the professional fights with personal relationships at all.
Another good illustration of this principle is how successful politicians can castigate each other on the podium or in Parliament when they belong to opposing parties and yet they are able to wine and dine together, while sharing good stories and jokes at other times.
If you are to be successful, you need the flexibility like that of successful politicians or the former schoolmate that was expelled from school after the head prefect reported his wrong doing to school authorities. This way, you will be able to keep professional fights professional, without impacting personal relationships. Good luck!!