I have a good friend who loves to debate. He thrives in the context of heated discussion and tension. For him, it’s almost as if the world is not quite right if everyone is happy and getting along. I don’t know that I would say that he incites controversy, but he definitely is ok with it. Tension does not keep him awake at night. Do you have any friends like that?

I get nervous even talking about, even writing about it. Tension stresses me out. I realize that there are places where tension can be good and even necessary, but I am a harmony guy. That’s how I am wired. In fact, a few years ago I took a personality assessment called StrengthsFinder, and of the 34 possible areas of strength, one of my top 5 was Harmony. This was no surprise to me. Like I said before, I am a harmony guy. I want things to work together. I need things to work together. More importantly, I need people to work together. I don’t like fights or arguments or even heated discussions. I am okay with disagreements, but when they cause tension and discord between and among people, I am in my unhappy place. And when you pair another one of my strengths, Responsibility, with Harmony, you have a person who not only wants harmony but also feels compelled to help establish and create harmony.

When we get along, I think we work better. Not that we all have to be best friends, but I do believe there are definitely issues of chemistry that are huge factors in the effectiveness of a business or organization. Here are a few thoughts I have about helping to create and maintain harmony in your business. Be polite with one another. Remember your manners (in other words, make your mom proud). Recognize the victories and accomplishments of your co-workers/teammates. Celebrate one another. Pay attention to little things about each other- likes/dislikes, etc. Offer to help when possible and appropriate. Take advantage of opportunities to socialize outside of the work setting. And maybe the biggest one, be honest and open with each other. If you mess up, step up and apologize and be transparent about making a mistake. If we cannot talk to each other about real things, then we become just a bunch of little silos.

I encourage you in your business or organization to make harmony a high value. In sports, the teams that work together are the ones that win, and in business, I believe we can see the same results. Teams that are in harmony get more done. And the work that does get done is a higher quality.