3-1-1 On Disagreement

*This 3-1-1 is inspired by Jennifer Garvey Berger’s work on Leadership Mindtraps.

Disagreement is painful, agreement is pleasurable. Often our first solution is to compromise, but this doesn't work well in complex situations that involve merging two ideas into one. If we don't compromise, we usually end up joining a group that agrees with us, making our views even stronger and creating division within the group.

“The absence of conflict is not harmony, it's apathy. If you were in a group where people never disagree, the only way that could really happen is if people don't care enough to speak their minds.”

-Adam Grant, Think Again

Research indicates that task conflict – disagreements or differences of opinion regarding the tasks they are working on – plays a crucial role in fostering creativity, critical thinking, and innovation. Conversely, relationship conflict – involving personal disagreements or feuds among team members unrelated to their tasks – can harm team cohesion, proving detrimental and destructive. Teams must focus not only on finding agreement but also on navigating disagreements effectively to prevent task conflict from escalating into relational conflict.

1 Tip to Engage Disagreement

Disagreement feels personal. The next time you disagree with team members, start by asking, "Can we debate?" It sends a message that you will be debating ideas, not emotions.

-Adam Grant, Think Again

1 Question to Engage Disagreement

“How could this conflict serve to deepen the relationship?”

Jennifer Garvey Berger, Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps 

- J.P. Nerbun

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