It’s a paradox that every leader faces: create teams that work well together but embrace conflict. Also, drive consensus but encourage individual points of view. Discomfort is emotional. Feelings can be complex and multi-layered. But stifling expression can inhibit a team’s performance and lead to poor decision
Here are the top six strategies to drive discomfort for better decision-making:
- Make “disagreers” part of your team (but not disruptors).
- Maximize team diversity to reap the benefits of differences in experience and thinking. Ensure you have various points of view represented at the table.
- Encourage debate, but avoid endless disagreement. Before you make a decision, ensure you have all the points of view on the table. Leave room for passion.
- Take on sacred cows, and allow others to do the same.
- Consider alternatives. Strategic decision-making is about making choices. To make the best choice, you need alternatives.
- Always debrief in the spirit of continuous improvement. Institutionalize the questions, “What worked well?” and “What could we have done better?”
What conflict are you avoiding today, and how might you address it?