Whether you’re at the executive level or strive to be someday, what I’m about to say might shock you. If you find yourself winning most workplace arguments, you might be setting yourself and your entire team back a bit.
We’ve all had a hand in starting or finishing an office argument, but what we may have missed in the heat of the moment was the importance of letting the “win” go in exchange for some new thoughts, perspectives and possibilities. Simply rejecting an idea because you think you know the answer isn’t forward progress.
Win/win arguments are where conflicting ideas are used with each other in a constructive manner as opposed to against each other in competition. These win/win arguments may be difficult to maintain, and certainly require a bit more time and focus than regular ol’ win/lose arguments, but their value far exceeds their burden.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
As a leader, it falls on you to create a positive, constructive argument environment. It’s important you head by example and show others that even with your authority and busy schedule, you can still take the time to be wrong and listen.
But to be a truly effective leader, you must not only engage in constructive arguments yourself but nurture a work environment where others are doing the same. This will pave the way for innovation and productive brainstorming all around the office.
Reward the Losing Side
Offering rewards to employees who exhibit a productive approach to workplace debate may sound a bit strange but let’s put some perspective on it. An employee who encourages constructive arguments and is willing to learn, even at the risk of being “wrong,” is a dynamic team player. This employee understands the importance of innovation and collaborative effort while respecting the ideas and opinions of others. So their reward doesn’t have to come in the form of an “employee of the month” acknowledgement, per se, but their respect for teamwork and knowledge are crucial factors to consider when you’re looking to promote within or select someone to spearhead a project.
Win/Lose to Win/Win
It’s easy to get caught up in a great debate in the workplace; with so many personalities, ideas and previous experience floating around in one space, there are sure to be steadfast opinions on any and all topics. But to turn the debate into an intelligent exchange where ideas can be shared and there’s no winner or loser is how companies and employees alike grow exponentially.
Do you want to motivate and lead your staff more effectively? My executive coaching services can help you hone your leadership skills and clearly define your goals and objectives.