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January 2017
Magnets - only effective because of their polar opposites

Tom Hogue  January 2017

Something occurred to me a month or so back that seemed like an epiphany when it hit me. You see, there are times that I buck heads with some key members of my team. I know, it's hard to believe, as friendly as I am, but it's true (comic relief).


As I stood on the other side of that healthy conflict, in a calmer light, and looked at the results of that conversation, I realized how impressive the outcome was - simply because of our heated conversation.


I had not been entirely right in my opinion or approach to our challenge ahead. I needed that opposite opinion, shared with a measure of strength and conviction, before I came to realize a happy middle ground that benefitted us all as a result.


Sometimes however, opposing viewpoints or approaches can frustrate me. I believe earnestly that I already know the answer to an issue, and I'm ready to jump to action and get to results quickly. Said another way, I just don't want to hear that opposing view. Case closed.


Sometimes though, that the small amount of humility kicks in, I bite my tongue, and I do my best to listen with an open mind. And you know what I'm discovering? Quite often, they share a better idea.


That left me amazed. That while I want to walk away from this opposite opinion and sometimes attitude, if we just bang our heads together, the results can be amazing!


I realized we were like magnets, with polar attractions. When the poles are the same, and team members just go along with the flow, and try to always agree with me, we actually can repel each other, while they quietly harbor frustration and become ineffective while growing apart.


But if that team member has the courage and the right approach to have the opposite polar attraction, a little friction and heat is created in the process, and the result is that we attract the best results and unite for success.


I've always heard that opposites attract as it pertains to personal relationships with the opposite sex, but I didn't realize how effective it can be to results in the business place. I'm now starting to embrace and appreciate that.


So remember, if you can remain calm and truly care about both the results and the person acting as your polar opposite with good intentions, you can accomplish great things and build a stronger relationship with your team.


Besides, magnets would not be good for any purposes if it were not for their opposite polar attraction. They would just be pieces of nickel, iron, or cobalt setting apart from each other, acting as paper weights. Magnets are only effective because of their polar opposite.

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