7/31/2017 12:15:00 PM
How we interpret things is often is dependent upon our point of view (the way of considering a matter). For example, if everyone is sitting in the same room while watching an enactment, we each may see something different due to our vantage point in the room. The same thing can be said of those of us in different areas of expertise. We may all work for the same organization and share the same mission, but due to our different roles and expertise, we each have a different view. This can be beneficial for the organization, but sometimes it creates conflict.
Conflict is an active disagreement between people who have opposing opinions. Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing, and it can actually be helpful in developing strong relationships and trust, so long as we manage our opposing opinions respectfully and remain empathetic (how we listen to understand the thoughts and attitudes of others). We need to be careful about not making or taking different opinions personally. It’s OK to be tough on the issue, but not on the individual with the opposing opinion. It’s beneficial to have people with different expertise, because we are then able to achieve the most effective outcomes by ensuring that we are considering all the relevant factors to make the best decision. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Compliance professionals have the type of role that requires them to point out opportunities for improvement to comply with requirements and standards. This is never intended to be a personal criticism, but it might feel that way. It’s rarely easy for any of us to receive criticism about our work areas, even when it is done in a positive way. This is an area that tends to create conflict, especially if others disagree with the identified opportunities or recommended solutions. It’s natural for people in assessment roles and professionals engaged in the day-to-day operations or management of the operations to come from different points of view regarding priorities and how things should be done. It’s a compliance professional’s job to coordinate various types of activities and assessments to help management understand the level of risk in order to make decisions about the risk. Many considerations have to be weighed to determine what level of risk is acceptable and how to limit the risk, including financial and people resources, priorities and goals, reputation, customer safety, and legal and ethical factors. In order to successfully have the necessary discussions to make the best decisions, we have to remain respectful and recognize the value of having people with different points of view at the table.
The way we treat one another makes a difference in our culture and is important to our job satisfaction, health, and success. People don’t always remember so much what a person says, but most often remember how they were made to feel. Stephen Covey said, “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.” Let’s all work together to creatively solve problems and create a safe culture by showing respect and empathy so everyone feels free to raise concerns and share their point of view.
Deann M. Baker, CHC, CCEP, CHRC
a compliance and ethics newsletter from the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics
ISSUE 22, July, 2017 | To subscribe to this newsletter, please click here. Please forward this to your colleagues. Click here to view past issues.