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How to Disagree
well:
Overcoming a fear of conflict and
helping teams move away from
consensus
Richard McLean
@mcleanonline
Hi, I’m Richard
@mcleanonline
Quick poll
How comfortable do you feel when it
comes to handling conflict within your
team?
What we’re going to cover in this session
1.Explore consensus decision-making
2.Tools and techniques for creating
healthy conflict and helping people to
disagree well
3.Discussion/Q&A
What we’re going to cover in this session
1.Explore consensus decision-making
2.Tools and techniques for creating
healthy conflict and helping people to
disagree well
3.Discussion/Q&A
“Compromise makes bad products.
Conversations that expose fundamental
tensions often uncover gaps or
contradictions in strategy. Consequently,
they improve not only a single decision but
the entire constellation of decisions that
follow.” Boz
https://boz.com/articles/strong-opinions
“Teams that trust each other are not
afraid to engage in passionate
dialogue around issues and decisions
that are key to the organization’s
success. They do not hesitate to
disagree with, challenge, and question
one another, all in the spirit of finding
the best answers, and
Yes, but…
It matters how you
dissent, how you
disagree
How do you create an environment
where people freely express their views,
where speaking up & straight talking
is encouraged, where it’s ok to disagree,
because you can disagree well, and
where conflicting views are welcomed?
What we’re going to cover in this session
1.Explore consensus decision-making
2.Tools and techniques for creating
healthy conflict and helping people to
disagree well
3.Discussion/Q&A
https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2016/05/2
5/its-ok-to-say-whats-ok/
Who has a different view?
“We’ve heard a number of great ideas.
But what are we missing?”
“What are we missing?”
What we’re going to cover in this session
1.Explore consensus decision-making
2.Tools and techniques for creating
healthy conflict and helping people to
disagree well
3.Discussion/Q&A
Takeaways
1. Conversation – Make clear that it’s ok to disagree and encourage it
when it happens
2. Contribution – Invite everyone to contribute and actively seek
different opinions
3. Reflection – Set some team principles and then, later, reflect on
whether they are helping you and adjust accordingly
4. Empathy – Try wearing different hats: put yourself in someone else’s
shoes and consider the issue/question/situation from different
viewpoints
5. Environment – You’re only likely to have healthy conflict in a
environment where there is trust and Psychological Safety
How to disagree well - Agile Cambridge Sept 23.pptx

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How to disagree well - Agile Cambridge Sept 23.pptx

  • 1. How to Disagree well: Overcoming a fear of conflict and helping teams move away from consensus Richard McLean @mcleanonline
  • 3. Quick poll How comfortable do you feel when it comes to handling conflict within your team?
  • 4. What we’re going to cover in this session 1.Explore consensus decision-making 2.Tools and techniques for creating healthy conflict and helping people to disagree well 3.Discussion/Q&A
  • 5. What we’re going to cover in this session 1.Explore consensus decision-making 2.Tools and techniques for creating healthy conflict and helping people to disagree well 3.Discussion/Q&A
  • 6.
  • 7.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12.
  • 13.
  • 14. “Compromise makes bad products. Conversations that expose fundamental tensions often uncover gaps or contradictions in strategy. Consequently, they improve not only a single decision but the entire constellation of decisions that follow.” Boz https://boz.com/articles/strong-opinions
  • 15. “Teams that trust each other are not afraid to engage in passionate dialogue around issues and decisions that are key to the organization’s success. They do not hesitate to disagree with, challenge, and question one another, all in the spirit of finding the best answers, and
  • 16.
  • 17. Yes, but… It matters how you dissent, how you disagree
  • 18. How do you create an environment where people freely express their views, where speaking up & straight talking is encouraged, where it’s ok to disagree, because you can disagree well, and where conflicting views are welcomed?
  • 19.
  • 20. What we’re going to cover in this session 1.Explore consensus decision-making 2.Tools and techniques for creating healthy conflict and helping people to disagree well 3.Discussion/Q&A
  • 21.
  • 23.
  • 24.
  • 25.
  • 26. Who has a different view?
  • 27. “We’ve heard a number of great ideas. But what are we missing?” “What are we missing?”
  • 28.
  • 29.
  • 30.
  • 31. What we’re going to cover in this session 1.Explore consensus decision-making 2.Tools and techniques for creating healthy conflict and helping people to disagree well 3.Discussion/Q&A
  • 32. Takeaways 1. Conversation – Make clear that it’s ok to disagree and encourage it when it happens 2. Contribution – Invite everyone to contribute and actively seek different opinions 3. Reflection – Set some team principles and then, later, reflect on whether they are helping you and adjust accordingly 4. Empathy – Try wearing different hats: put yourself in someone else’s shoes and consider the issue/question/situation from different viewpoints 5. Environment – You’re only likely to have healthy conflict in a environment where there is trust and Psychological Safety

Editor's Notes

  1. I’m trying not to glorify dissent. No idea is perfect, and it's easy to find ways to criticise something, an idea, a solution, or a perspective. But if we simply challenge every single idea that gets suggested, we run the very real risk of good ideas falling by the wayside, and pushing people into a state where they don't want to suggest further ideas for fear of being overly-critiqued. I'd argue that sometimes, even if you think someone's idea is flawed, if it's low-risk, let it grow. You never know what it might grow into.