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Improve Productivity: Why tension is a good thing.

Improved Productivity: Why Tension is a Good ThingAs an author, speaker, and thought leader there are many business relationships that you are a part of. You have relationships with clients, employees, suppliers, prospects and competitors. You probably have a web team, an assistant, trainers, a bookkeeper, and others that make up your team. Some of these folks may be full time employees, others may be outside contractors or consultants. Human nature is such that we tend to gravitate towards relationships that are easy going, stress free, and somewhat complacent. We typically do not seek out relationships that involve a high level of stress or frustration. Why would we, right? Well, not so fast.

I’ve observed in my work with hundreds of authors and thought leaders around the globe that there is a tendency to let relationships (both internal and external) get a bit complacent. It’s the deadline that gets missed for a client that’s also become a friend. It’s evident in the assistant that starts to wind down his day a few minutes earlier than he used to. It’s the typos that find their way into an important client deliverable. It’s not laziness, it’s not incompetence, it’s complacency.

Here’s the downside. If it’s your client and you’re the one that’s gotten a little lax, there is always someone else that might be a bit more aggressive, a little hungrier, slightly more creative, or more innovative and your client can easily become intrigued by the fresh perspective. If it’s your team or suppliers you are getting less than you are paying for. It’s acceptable, it may even be great, but it is not the best that your people or organization are capable of producing. Again, it’s not mediocrity — it’s just not excellence.

So how do we overcome this? It may be a bit counterintuitive, but tension is good. Stress can yield higher quality outcomes and insure client relationships are on solid ground. A little bit of tension or a lack of complacency not only keeps everyone on their toes but makes us more cognizant of our role in the relationship and what is expected of us. Of course you can still have an amazing relationship with your client or team but introduce a bit of tension to counter the complacency that is a part of the way humans are wired. You’ll protect your best client relationships and improve productivity across your organization in the process.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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