When you’re seeking buy-in do you get team agreement or are people agreeing to disagree?
Chances are really good that any time you have two or more people working together eventually you’ll disagree about something.
When working with groups and teams on conflict I always suggest that conflict is a natural part of people working together. How they choose to manage conflict will determine if it becomes harmful.
Why do we disagree?
It is an interesting dynamic because many businesses claim that they are seeking to hire employees who are the perfect fit. Often the expression of fit is not about competencies or skills, it is more about values, beliefs, and perspective.
Boards of directors often take a similar position. They often seek people for board seats because they want to achieve agreement on difficult issues. When the board approves a motion, it must be the correct decision. Board members with differing opinions need not apply.
Yet, the pull to the push is that diversity of opinion may make us stronger.
Decision by consensus may quickly come to mind. True decision by consensus is not about majority vote, it is not popular opinion. Decision by consensus means that a group has complete agreement about the decision.
As you may quickly realize, true decision by consensus is often hard to attain.
Should we agree to disagree?
Agreeing to Disagree
I believe that agreeing to disagree is a good temporary patch to a disagreement that may be about to explode in to a harmful argument. One important aspect of agreeing to disagree is that it is not a win-win solution.
What do you do when the team cannot agree? Are the minority members shunned into silence or forced to vote to the affirmative?
We can suggest that some group members may lack experience, understanding, or that they simply have a closed-mind. Most commonly, we suggest that they are wrong.
Achieving team agreement may be a delicate balance of give and take.
Decide on where you will give.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.