Sunday, December 08, 2013

People Never Completely Agree

Inexperienced entrepreneurs seem to believe that they need their team to agree.  "Get everyone on the same page," is a common mantra I hear from teams I work with.

The problem is, anyone who develops the expectations that all the members of a group (even a group of two) will completely agree about anything is doomed to disappointment.

I've been working on a secret project for some time (don't worry, all will be revealed in the next few months).  My two collaborators are incredibly smart and accomplished, and I have the utmost respect for them (as I hope they have for me).  Yet we often see things differently.

The solution to this dilemma is to reset your expectations, and have a plan for how to resolve disagreements.

My collaborators and I don't expect to agree on everything--that's why we're working together: To produce a better final result that leverages all our brains and experiences.  But we do agree on how resolve issues.

Our general process is to respect one another's ideas, try out every idea that someone passionately believes in, and review the evidence and draw final conclusions as a team.

Each of us knows that we won't always get our way...but we also know that this is a good thing.  The evidence is clear that collective knowledge is almost always superior to individual knowledge.  You just have to be willing to accept and resolve disagreement to tap that collective.

1 comment:

Puneet said...

Thanks for this Chris. Like usual, you are right on. Advice like this, out in the open, can help bridge the divides that exist in groups and create a greater sense of trust and mutual respect.