Leadership Series: Debate

Posted on Aug 31, 2016 in Entrepreneur, Small Business, Success, Tips for Entrepreneurs | Comments Off on Leadership Series: Debate

Leadership Series: Debate

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In our most recent Leadership Series post we spoke about the importance of conflict; and today, we’ll talk about the importance of a related but unique interaction necessary for organizational/team success—debate.

Oftentimes it’s said of good leaders that they’re decision makers—and this may well be true in certain cases. But decision making leaders often leave something behind. The knowledge, ideas and intelligence of everyone else.

Liz Wiseman, in her best seller, Multipliers, teaches us how to make sure we’re seeking fact based, well thought through decisions; here is her formula.

  1. Ask the hard question. This means that the leader is in charge of sparking the debate by challenging the current standing assumptions around an issue and by bringing up the critical weak points in an argument
  2. Ask for data. It is essential to have fact based debates, or else it becomes an “opinion fest” which often comes tied with emotions. If a discussion is based solely on opinion, then those whose suggestions aren’t chosen may feel that they’re not being chosen because of who offered the opinion. Facts are incontestable.
  3. As each person. Typically, the louder people are the easiest to engage in debate, but have you ever heard the saying, “he whom speaks the most knows the least”? While that may not always be the case, it is often the case that the ones with the most analytical minds or those with extensive experience may not be the loudest voices—but they must be heard.

Overall, if we work on applying these three steps to debating decisions, we’ll address the right issues with fact based arguments that include the collective intelligence of everyone. Go out and make it happen!