December 17, 2019 10:00 am Published by

To Learn, Not To Win #217

In the midst of year-end strategic planning and all the things leadership teams discuss and debate at the end of the year, conflict is inevitable. I noted a great quote from one of my leadership teams today: “we debate to learn, we don’t debate to win.”

This is a simple phrase that keeps the outcome clear. It enables us to debate ideas, opportunities, and the search for the right answer or the pursuit of truth – all of which produce healthy conflict. The kind that isn’t personal makes us better as a team, builds trust, and produces excellent results.

When we debate to “win,” it presumes many things, one of which is that someone is right and the other is wrong. Not a lot of learning happens this way and it gives conflict a bad rap.

Healthy conflict provides an opportunity to refine ideas and significantly impact outcomes for the greater good of the company. Without it, mediocrity will prevail. If that’s your outcome, no one wins or learns, we simply fail at the results we intended and damage relationships along the way.

Debate as you will, and please make it a learning experience. Your future depends on it.

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