Constructive conflict creates an effective environment for innovation. Leaders who make agreement or consensus more important than candid, rigorous debate cause problems for themselves and others. Results suffer. Remember that engagement is more important than agreement. Take a hard look at any need you have for others to agree with you. Then notice the tone you are setting in your organization regarding conflict. Open it up, and richer contributions from you and your team will follow.
Prepare answers to the following:
a. Is the role of consensus in my organization moving us closer to, or further from, innovation and effective action?
b. Do we tend to avoid conflict—and if so, what is my role in that?
c. What can I and my leadership team do in the months ahead to upgrade the level of candid, well-intentioned debate?
Executive Coach & President
Palm Springs, Calif.
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