Too many leaders give their team permission to give feedback, to disagree, or to challenge one another’s ideas. Permission won’t drive action. If you want more healthy conflict on your team, stop giving people permission and start helping them appreciate their obligation.
When the same issue comes up three times in completely different contexts in one week, I know it’s time to write a post. This week, it’s the implicit contract teammates have with one another that no one will criticize, or even challenge, one another, especially when the boss is present. It’s time to change the […]
I never thought I would witness a Rock ‘em Sock ‘em battle royale between heavyweight social scientists, but that’s exactly what’s playing out in the media this week. In one corner is Adam Grant, weighing in with a Wharton Professorship, bestselling books, and a regular column in the New York Times. In the other corner […]
There are almost infinite posts in the blogosphere about how to give better presentations. If you want good ones, try www.PublicWords.com by Dr. Nick Morgan. Today, I’m dedicating this space not to giving presentations but instead to receiving them. While I would give most presenters at least a passing grade, I would fail most teams […]
I was preparing to facilitate a day-long meeting for a new team leader. He had just joined the organization and was pulling together the team of direct reports he had inherited. As we discussed his objectives for the day, he mentioned that what he really wanted was “juicy discussions.” By “juicy discussions” he meant […]
In my previous post, I focused on the importance on factoring in the emotional aspects of an issue when your team is struggling or experiencing conflict. If you didn’t read that post, start there first. Once you are convinced that emotions are data to be understood and deliberately factored in to business debates, try […]
Frequently, I watch teams trying to solve an issue that seems straight forward while observing that their behavior says it’s anything but. I see people interrupting, I hear yelling, I notice tears welling up. Then I know that it’s not an intellectual debate, it’s an emotional conflict that’s at the heart of the issue. […]
How often have you heard someone say “just to play the devil’s advocate?” I’m a big fan of the devil’s advocate role when used properly, but even I cringe when this expression comes to mean “Everybody fasten your seatbelts, I’m about to be a jerk.” That’s what happens when aggressive people use the devil’s advocate […]