Odds are that the people on your team have very different ideas and opinions of various topics. If so, celebrate it! This is a key to having a high performing team. When everyone thinks exactly the same way there are no new ideas and innovation fades away. The challenge is to find ways to keep the conflict of opinions from becoming negative or destructive.
Here are five strategies to help you celebrate the differences:
- Be Open. Keep an open mind and listen to their point of view.
- Show Respect. Remember that they have a right to their opinion as do you. Respect each other.
- Value Them. Tell them that you value their ideas and opinions, particularly when you disagree.
- Seek Commonality. Look for areas of agreement, even in the midst of differences. They will exist.
- Be Thankful. Thank teammates who are willing to disagree and look for new ideas or options.
If you follow these five strategies you are showing those around you that you value them as individuals with individual ideas and opinions. Giving them the freedom to express opposing thoughts will open doors to higher levels of creativity, trust and performance in any team. As well, if you are the team leader or boss your creditability increases because you include the team in the process. People will be more likely to admire and support you if you include them and their ideas.
Recently I had a conversation with someone whose thoughts were basically the exact opposite of mine. I’m comfortable with my take on the situation and he is highly committed to his position. In reality the topic does not affect our ability to collaborate, but if we couldn’t reach some level of understanding it would be out there as a possible sore spot. We both shared our thoughts and why we felt that way. At the end I told him that I admired his commitment to his position.
Be willing to listen to other’s ideas and opinions with an open mind. Take in their thoughts and then share your position without judging theirs. Keep it to facts and your feelings or opinions. This allows room for their position to be heard. Once the information is out there you can look for ways to reach some form of agreement so you can move forward. It maybe you agree to adopt their position, they agree to adopt yours, you find a new option that works for both, or you agree to disagree. All of these are viable solutions and keep the lines of communication open. As well you are celebrating the differing experiences, ideas and opinions within the team.
How do you celebrate different ideas with your team?