Encouraging Disagreement

Monday morning, I came into work and the first thing I heard was, Mike can I talk to you?

One of my employees was worried about one of our initiatives.

See, we are in the midst of providing internet to our residents. Internet that is hooked up, fast, and available the moment they move in. It was a pain-point where we recognized that we can do this better.

But there are a lot of complications with doing this and doing this well.

Turns out another employee felt the same way. They too wanted to discuss those same issues.

It wasn’t fun.

We’ve been spending a great deal of time on this project and I was hoping to move forward. Except, here our employees were saying that this might not be the right approach.

I mean we’re an apartment management company that’s getting our hands into internet services; We weren’t taking everything into consideration.

Agreeing is much easier to do, especially when confronting someone.

But I’m glad they didn’t take the easy route.

I’m glad that they shared their ideas, opinions, and worries.

Because that's what you want as a leader.

You want people around you willing to tell you when you’re wrong.

Disagreements are inevitable. They are a part of relating to other people. It wouldn’t be good for the business, your coworkers, or yourself if disagreements never occurred.

When managed well, with mutual respect among one another, disagreements can result in a lot of positive outcomes.

When asked if there is a better approach, creativity among one another can lead to new solutions.

No matter how uncomfortable is may be to confront someone’s idea or to have someone else disagree with you, disagreements are an opportunity to learn, to try new things, and gain experience.

Through collaboration and sharing ideas, teamwork will increase.

No longer will people feel like they are walking on egg shells. Instead, people will feel closer with one another having been able to better understand how each other think.

When you’re not afraid to give constructive feedback about issues at work, work will be more enjoyable.

In Jim Collins' book, Good to Great, he talks about turning over the rocks and working through those issues to have a better end result.

So, encourage disagreement.

Encourage your employees to disagree with your point of view.

Because you will come to a better end decision, as a result.