Imagine having your ideal team in place. Your have the required talent, with a diversity of skills, experience and values. You team has clear goals and you and your team members are fully committed to them. This team sounds ideal and yet you have a feeling your team could perform better. How can this be true when you have all the right ingredients?
The interactions within the team are lively, ideas are debated vigorously and everyone contributes. Trust is also high as evidenced by the willingness of team members to embrace conflict and challenge each other’s ideas.
Would you be excited by a team like this? On paper I would be, but why are they not performing at their best? Let’s take a look at their team discussions. They usually end in one viewpoint winning out and when there is a tie, the leader steps in with the deciding vote. Sound familiar?
This is all good except the team is holding itself back and constraining itself to its current thinking. Contrast this with a team that recognizes each member brings a different perspective and it is the creation of new insight that really matters. They don’t do battle to see who is right or who can produce the best argument. Instead, they use inquiry to make sure the team fully understands each point of view, its pros and cons before taking the best of each to forge new insight.
What makes this team special? They ask questions of each other and invite the same questioning of their own thinking. They don’t think in terms of being wrong or right, they focus on how to make their and other ideas better.
The next time you are arguing for your point of view, stop for a second and ask yourself if you are better served by fully understanding everyone’s opinions first or doggedly advocating for your own?