Disagreement is Not Disrespect

When presented with a problem set leaders either know the way ahead immediately or need input from others to inform their decision.  When seeking input there are two common phases that leaders and others must understand.  Phase 1- Input and disagreement are not disrespect.  Phase 2 – The decision is made and the organization must get behind the leader.  All must work together to accomplish the desired end state for their common success.   During Phase 1 both the Leader and the led should be free to disagree, provide opinion, and red team the concept to ensure all effects are known and an informed decision can be made.  Leaders must not take the comments from their subordinates personally nor be wed to a particular idea.  The led must voice their contributions in a manner that is not disrespectful.  When both parties follow these guidelines the process works.  Once the decision is made and we move into Phase 2 the leader must be cognizant that conditions or “the truth” may change and develop decision points if required to alter the way ahead.  The organization must cease resistance to the decision and understand that they are now equally responsible for the success of the Leader’s selected course of action.  The key is for the Leader to clearly articulate which phase the organization is in so all members can make the transition simultaneously.

As a Leader if you follow this model you will enable success and maintain a better work environment.

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One thought on “Disagreement is Not Disrespect

  1. Agree 100%! Especially the final point that the leader must ensure all in the organisation know what phase they are currently in. Not doing so leads to a perception of disrespect. A clear delineation of the phases is critical.


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