Category Archives: Handling Disagreements

It’s not personal.

Great teammates understand that disagreeing shouldn’t stop me from supporting an idea, direction, or philosophy chosen by the rest of the team. This is an apt description of what a great teammate does when they disagree. I am sure we have all experienced the passive aggressive folks who work hard to punish us until we agree but

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The Cost of Avoidance

No one has to like conflict. They just have to dislike the dysfunction caused by “avoiding it.” Conflict is inconvenient and uncomfortable for everyone. That is why conflict is so often avoided to the point that the goal of most teams is to eliminate conflict altogether. Great teams understand that the dysfunction caused by a culture that

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Accepting Disagreement

Accepting that disagreement is both necessary and healthy is the first step to a willingness to disagree well. Any team that lacks disagreement is never going to achieve greatness because they either limit healthy conflict and debate or they are dishonest with themselves about the presence of it. This is usually the case when people are uncomfortable

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Counterintuitive to Culture

Great teammates understand how to disagree well. This is essential because all teams are going to disagree. Disagreeing well requires the following: 1) Accepting that disagreement is necessary and healthy. 2) Understanding that those who disagree are not morally wrong for having a different opinion, idea, or philosophy. 3) The ability to support an idea, direction, or

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Who has the right of way?

Do I expect as much freedom as the next person? That sounds reasonable but there is a problem with that expectation. Freedom and entitlement to freedom only ever look good on paper. In reality, one person’s freedom is likely to infringe on another person’s freedom. Think about how people decide who is to go first when two

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The Doubter

People have all kinds of attitudes for all kinds of reasons. Those who doubt the ideas of others may struggle with a pride that doesn’t allow them to endorse any idea that didn’t originate from them. Pride is a tough attribute to overcome and it takes a bold leader to address it on a team. Fear may

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Disagree? Or lack confidence?

I always find it interesting to see how different teammates respond to challenges. I have found that many of the naysayers in the initial discussions are not saying no because they don’t agree with the direction. They cast doubt because they secretly doubt themselves and their ability to step up to the challenge. Usually what ends up

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Walking the Line Well

Teammates that never voice their dissent cannot be considered great because they are not contributing with their unique insight. While their idea may not be completely embraced it can be considered and lead to the idea that does end up being the chosen solution. Every idea is a brick on the path to the direction the team

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The Art and Science of Dissent

There is an art and science to operating on a team with healthy dissent. Not everyone is going to agree. The trick is knowing how to disagree and remain a great teammate. Speaking up only takes courage when we disagree. Be courageous. Expressing dissent without coming across as condescending or arrogant takes the tact of an adult

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“I told you so…”

When the team is moving in a direction that I didn’t agree with but I have chosen to support, I must understand that my concerns and misgivings may not have as much influence as those that are in agreement of the direction. It is vital that I continue to contribute to team discussions because my perspective is

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