12 Ways to Maximize Collisions of Perspective

demolition derby

Mediocrity is the result of peace and harmony. Rather than resolving conflict, invite it. Lousy leaders and weak organizations pursue peace at all costs.

The heat of tension, tests, clarifies, refines, and strengthens teams and ideas.

Consensus is the path to average.

Teams without tensions have weak players. One person runs the show. Everyone else goes along.

4 People who produce mediocre organisations:

  1. Pouters who withdrawn when they don’t get their own way.
  2. All or nothing thinkers who won’t buy-in unless they win.
  3. Weaklings who won’t stand up for their position.
  4. Grudge holders who won’t let go.

Successful leaders invite and facilitate collisions of perspective.

Four marks of destructive collisions:

  1. Kingdom building where people pursue personal advantage over organizational.
  2. Bullying that silences weaker players.
  3. Using power or title to support positions during debate.
  4. Attacking people rather than issues. Don’t tolerate personal jabs or insults.

Tensions are destructive when participants can’t fight fair.

12 ways to invite and maximize collisions of perspective:

  1. Open up about tensions. Avoid the tendency to pretend they don’t exist. Just name them.
  2. Enable healthy collisions. Have fake fights for training exercises. Assign positions on an issue, regardless of how they really feel, and go at it.
  3. Reject compromise early on.
  4. Ask participants to defend someone elses position.
  5. Don’t allow high-level leaders to state their position at the beginning.
  6. Identify core concerns. What part of your argument is essential?
  7. Ask, “Where can’t you compromise?” Give participants opportunities to defend before giving something up.
  8. Clarify dissent. “I don’t like it,” isn’t clarity.
  9. Uncover priorities. Ask, “What’s makes this so important to you?”
  10. Provide rules, and structures that elevate conflict above personalities. No personal attacks allowed. Talking is limited to two minutes at a turn. Everyone speaks once before anyone speaks twice.
  11. Ask, “What if?”
  12. Build strong relationships during “peace time.”

On Facebook: “The benefits of conflict include ______.”

How can leaders maximize collisions of perspective?

What dangers should be avoided?

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