Dealing with differentiation

Differentiation is a big source of conflict and has been getting worse due to globalization.  The methods of training, values, beliefs, and experiences may differ from person to person due to its large diversity.

Everyone who works for a company may have a common goal, such as, serving the nation for the military, but may have different beliefs about how to achieve that goal.  This is where differentiation kicks in and creates a conflict amongst the members.

Organizational Behavior by McShane says that these differences occur because people develop social identities around technological developmental and other social events unique to his or her era.  This is frequent for many companies that go through mergers.  But is more frequent in the military that has both older and younger members who have different needs, expectations, practices, and preferences.

This differentiation causes not only tension but creates confusion as well due to different lingo.  The behaviors, answers, and methods will be different as well.  This creates unnecessary misunderstandings and isn’t very good for the company.

I first ran into this problem when I couldn’t agree with the traditional method of generating data in the military.  When I proposed my modern method of using a new software, it got shot down and I had to yield to the traditional method proposed by my superior.  As I climbed up the ranks, I decided to break the chain of forcing to win the conflict at the other’s expense.  This is because this method had the highest risk of relationship conflict and damages future problem solving and future relationship.

I wanted the new generation to be more open, since I honestly believe that the newest employees have the best ideas.  It’s always better to compromise, no matter what position you are in, because this method lets parties be open minded while generating the best options.  In a scenario where everyone has a common goal, it’s always better to compromise, because they all want the same thing in the end.

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