Home > Leadership, The Monday Musings Column > is this the right room for an argument?

is this the right room for an argument?

If it is where I am sitting then yes, it is. Not that I am advocating argument for its own sake, but more that I want people to challenge my opinions.

Allowing debate within the team brings out several benefits. For a start it means that you consider options in more depth so that the course of action that you take is more robust and then, because you will have explored options, you can quickly change tack if you need to. Your team will be bettered prepared for making things happen because they have been part of the decision making process and are likely to be better motivated. For me having my team challenge my thinking also helped sharpen me up so I benefitted too in my own development.

It isn’t argument for the sake of it though for unless it leads to a consensus it becomes divisive. The last thing you want is for opinions to become polarised and have a simmering resentment within the team amongst those whose opinions have not prevailed. There needs to be a willingness to sign up to the majority view even when you are unconvinced by the arguments and that is an element of character that not everyone has: If you can’t get them on board you have to let the go because you need team players and being prepared to debate and argue, no matter how passionately, does not include acceptance of dissent.

My favourite teams all had an atmosphere in which people could speak freely and debate any aspect of what we were doing. The other thing that those favourite teams had in common was that they all punched above their weight.

 

 

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