Have you ever been in a situation in which you are forced to work with someone you keep having arguments and disagreements about every little issue related to the work? There are times in which you simply cannot avoid that person, and do not have the option to work with someone with whom it would have been much easier for you to work with. If you decide not to longer work with that person, you might risk losing your job, being demoted or creating a negative image in the eyes of your boss. And the job risks of not being done properly. So how do you make sure the work gets done to the best achievable quality while at the same time maintaining your composure in the midst of arguments and constant disagreements with your colleague?
One thing that I have learned when it comes to dealing with such a situation is to try to acknowledge as much as possible the contribution of your colleague. Giving them as much as possible the feeling that their ideas are right although you know deep down inside that you are not convinced with their proposals or strategies is I believe a good way to go to create a spirit of collaboration between you and your colleague. And if possible, looking for ways to build your ideas or whatever proposals you are making on the ones being proposed by your colleague is in my view another strategy to enhance the team spirit between you and your colleague. Sometimes, I believe that even the most rigid person becomes flexible and open to opposing ideas when they feel that their ideas are being acknowledged by the other person. Of course, had you worked on your own, the work that you do would have been entirely based on your ideas only. But in a team setting, being ready to “let go of your darlings”, as they would say, might be necessary.
If you think about the current political situation in this country, we are currently in a situation in which political parties with different and sometimes with very opposing agendas are competing to get hold of power and run this country. Although it is completely natural that different parties bring different ideas to the table, sometimes I fear that the extent of differences that we witness between some of them can be detrimental to this country. I fear that, after the upcoming elections, some parties and their supporters would not take lightly the idea of not losing the elections. The result can be the usual chaos we are used to witnessing at the aftermath of African elections. There will be losers and winners in elections. That is natural. The different political parties are, in my view, like members of a team that have differing opinions. They may have arguments and disagreements. But they have to work together although only few will win at the end. So, those who win the elections should be able to acknowledge, appreciate and accommodate the options proposed and the ideas forwarded by the losers at the aftermath of elections. Otherwise, the losers will be new enemies who will eagerly wait for the day they would attack back the winners. At the end of the day, if our aim is to see a democratic and prosperous Ethiopia, we all need each other – both winners and losers. Working as a team is our only option.