- “I don’t like your idea and it’s going to be my way!”
- “No it’s not! I’m right and we’ll do as I say!”
- “No, we won’t!”
- “O, yes we will!”
- “Yes, and that’s it!”…
Familiar with this lines? I’m shure you had conversation like this in your office at least once. When a creative team works together arguments and quarrels are natural and even desirable form of communication as long as no one gets hurt (physically or emotionally).
Teams are made up of a different types of people with different ideas and thought patterns. Mixing them all together is what sparks creativity but on the way to it thing may get out of control. Voices can be raised, small disagreement can occur, cheeks can burn, but you should not be worried – all of this are part of the team jelling process.
After you get through your first big “difference of opinion,” everything from there will be much easier. The big question is how to avoid emotional crushes, nasty fights and hurt feelings along the way?
There’s a simple game called debate. It’s an organized discussion between two opposing attitudes, not persons. Everything is allowed – insulting, calling somethings stupid, even mocking the arguments of your opponent – as long as you have a good contra argument and evidence to support your claim. Everything you said must be grounded in reality and backed up by facts. Only thing that is forbidden is insulting and putting down on your opponent and his or hers personality.
You may easily install this model of behavior in your workplace. Just explain your colleges this simple rule – no personal attacks, just bomb the ideas – and your next dispute will be much more productive. By confronting two opposing views on the same problem, both sides may get a much clearer picture if they are listening to each other.
We had a lot of situations like this in our office. Many of activeCollab features have been raised from the huge fights and hours of arguing wether something should be done on one way or another. The ending is always the same – after we yell at each other a bit and listen what the others have to say, we calm down, think, and join our proposals into one killer feature.
Another benefit from office debates is better relationship in the team. After a couple of clinches and heavy ups and downs all masks will come down and you’ll understand your associates much better.
So, don’t be afraid to speak up for your ideas, especially if they can make product you’re working on better. Don’t hesitate to express your opinion and stand up behind your arguments. If you confront someone, even better, because arguing is just another form of communication that may bring the best out of you and your team. But, remember, no low blows and personal insults.