Whether you’re talking to a team member, a customer, or anyone else, always enter the conversation believing the other party has good intentions. We’re all on the same team.

In the first days of Parlor we sat down and talked about our values. It’s said your first 10 employees set the culture, but for a startup with 4 co-founders it was up to us. This one has been pretty great in terms of how Parlorites relate to each other but we practice this in our personal lives and that has been pretty freakin’ sweet too.

We’ve all been there – disagreement is inevitable for all teams. Whether that team is professional or personal, everyone has their own ideas and perspectives. However, disagreement only becomes problematic when it divides the team and pushes people to different “sides.”  Sides create offensive and defensive, and with that comes a winner and a loser. That’s no way to collaborate, or arrive at the best outcome.

It sounds so simple, but when it’s put into practice “assume positive intent” changes a contradictory comment.  It’s no longer an attack, it’s a differing opinion or point of view that wasn’t previously considered. It brings into focus and serves as a reminder that everyone’s goals are aligned and it’s the approach that differs.

We’ve practiced this as a team and disagreed plenty, but never for a moment has it been about trying to take someone else down a peg. We push back on each other because we all want to make the right call – and a different point of view could change what call we make.

We’ve practiced this as individuals and it’s made our everyday interactions and relationships smoother too. Interpreting comments or actions with good intentions in mind is much nicer for everyone involved (“Why yes, I must look tired because things have been so crazy lately, thank you for your concern” 😉).

Give it a try and let us know how it goes, we’d love to hear all about it.

May your new year be filled with the best of intentions!

That’s all for now. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please let us know in the comments or by emailing me at louise@teamparlor.com