7 Ways to Reach Bull-Headed Teammates

You’re banging heads with bull-headed teammates. It’s not the facts. It’s personal disposition.

Personal disposition often determines the “right” decision.

it doesn't help to call a bull-headed person bull-headed

Personal disposition.

  1. Visionary disposition. The “right” decision disrupts the present and moves into the future.
  2. Comforter disposition. The “right” decision doesn’t make people uncomfortable.
  3. Developer disposition. The “right” decision helps people try new things and grow.
  4. Protector disposition. The “right” decision considers all contingencies.

A closed mind has one perspective.

Single mindedness is good after decisions are made, not before.

Successful decisions, when there’s a lot on the line, need diverse dispositional-perspectives. The struggle is embracing more than one perspective when yours is “right.”

4 behaviors that close minds:

  1. Explaining facts and sharing information. The facts aren’t the issue; dispositional-interpretation is.
  2. Convincing others your idea is right.
  3. Telling others their idea is wrong.
  4. Raising your voice and other pressuring strategies.

7 ways to reach bull-headed teammates:

  1. Avoid talking about personalities. It doesn’t help to call a bull-headed person bull-headed.
  2. Don’t say, “The last time we talked about this….” People who bring up the past are trying to prove they are right now because you were wrong then. 
  3. Open up by saying, “I see we differ on this idea. What am I missing?” You must open your mind before they open theirs, If you don’t, it’s a battle of egos.
  4. Restate. “I hear you saying….” Make people feel heard. Openness happens after people feel heard.
  5. Explore. Ask, “What’s important about what I’m missing?” Listen for their disposition.
  6. Let them be “right” without making yourself “wrong.” Release ideas that aren’t central to the idea you believe is best.
  7. Include. How can you answer their core concerns and yours at the same time. Find the third option.

The key to opening a closed mind is to stop giving it justification for being closed.

How might leaders open closed minds?