Let's win this

The adversarial approach to conflict, decision-making and hard conversations is very damaging for any team or organisation.

People resent it, close down, and start working in silos.

They stop talking to each other, giving feedback or wanting to contribute.

I’m talking about when you’re engaging in a conversation with your team to try to persuade them about something and win them over “hearts and minds.”

Not only can you not do that (you can only persuade people who want to be convinced), BUT you’re also losing an opportunity to make a better decision.

If the reality is complex, uncertain and ambiguous, it’s very unlikely that only one person will have the solution.

It’s more likely that they will have the first cut of what needs to be done, and that first solution will then evolve based on other people’s contributions.

This is the rationale behind a dissenting opinion in a legal case.

A dissenting opinion gives a judge the opportunity to show why she disagrees with the majority of other judges in a given legal case.

The value of dissent is that it shows that there are other interpretations of the law, other valued approaches that can be legally argued, that law is more complex than being right and wrong.

Like when Amazon introduced the practice of agreement in disagreement at its C-suite meetings, meaning that executives are asked their opinion and given the chance to support one decision even when they disagree (“I don’t like it but I’ll go along with it”).

When we’re looking for the winning argument and the best decision, we don’t always give space to all the voices in the room.

The complexity that we’re all facing at this moment of time is forcing us to leave our egos at the door along with our sense of rightness if we want to make a meaningful contribution to truly resolving a problem.

Are you already changing the way you argue and present your options to make sure that others can contribute? Are you ready to take the courageous step of not being right?

And if you want to have some ideas on how to talk to power and move your ideas forward as an employee or member of a team, you might find this articleon voice cultivation process, interesting.

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