I was reading the recent blog post by Brad Feld titled “Bow In, Bow Out” about a tradition that Matthew Bellows, the CEO of Yesware has established in their meetings. I believe in rituals and tradition and practices, they create habits. I respect them a lot more now as I am older than I did when I was younger. One of the statements resonated with me strongly about how Brad and his partners have managed to develop and sustain the deep personal and professional relationship, even with all the stress and conflict inherent in the venture business and his response to the question of how they have been able to do this…
I said that one of our deeply held beliefs is that we “never wear our armor to a meeting.” We call this being intellectually honest and emotional pure with each other. And it’s another example of linking respect with a scalable tradition – we never want to wear our armor in any of our interactions with each other.
I always walk into meeting with this mindset but how many times have I been burned, hurt and bruised because of me not walking into a meeting with my armour? Just too many times to keep count. What is one suppose to do? I think the right thing to do is to continue being open, emotionally pure and intellectually honest. When you are dealing with a conflict situation, it is expected that the other party brings the Armor and all their arsenal, do you have the courage to walk in unarmed? This phenomena is not just with conflicts, it is with colleagues, co-workers and friends, they wear their armours to a meeting you need to have the courage to walk in without one. I believe very strongly that this is a right Principle, you may not always get the right result but atleast you walk away knowing that you did the right thing.
This comes back to one of my deeply held beliefs of Win-Win, in order to have a win-win result you don’t need both parties to believe in that philosophy, just one of the party.