I thought this post from Seth Godin’s blog was relevant to the team formation stage of this week in class! How will your team deal with disagreement? How do you pull out the good critical thinking and diverse perspectives that sometimes sits in disagreement and still keep the social fabric of the team woven together?
Two questions behind every disagreement
Are we on the same team? and
What’s the right path forward?
Most of time, all we talk about is the path, without having the far more important but much more difficult conversation about agendas, goals and tone.
Is this a matter of respect? Power? Do you come out ahead if I fail? Has someone undercut you? Do we both want the same thing to happen here?
The reason politics in my country is diverging so much from useful governance has nothing to do with useful conversations and insight into what the right path is. It’s because defeat and power and humiliation and money have replaced “doing what works for all of us” as the driving force in politics.
If you feel disrespected, the person you disagree with is not going to be a useful partner in figuring out what the right path going forward might be. If one party (employee/customer/investor) only wins when the other party loses, what’s the point of talking about anything but that?
Deal with the agenda items and the dignity problems first before you try to work out the right strategic choices.