“Truth springs from argument amongst friends.”
~David Hume

By now many of us have heard about Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and if you have, then you know that one of the key dysfunctions is a lack of conflict.

That sounds counterintuitive, but it is true. Conflict can be a good thing. And yet, we’re often still afraid to disagree – with our loved ones, with our bosses, with our peers, with our direct reports.

David Hume (and Patrick Lencioni) have a great point, because they both argue that not only do we need to disagree, but that the best results – and most truth – comes from that disagreement. And they also both argue that disagreement is best resolved amongst friends.

What does that mean? What does friendship have to do with it? It means that we need to approach conflict positively, not be afraid of conflict, and know how to handle conflict. We need to trust each other enough to get into the tough conversations, and to respect each other enough to listen to different perspectives and consider other alternatives. We need to know how to fight nicely and challenge appropriately. We need to be “friends.”

Having the skills and tools to do this effectively is key. We have found that the program designed around Lencioni’s book – The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team – offers our clients those tools and skills and can take teams through an even more robust process that will help them build trust, increase commitment, spread accountability, achieve results…and argue like friends.

It gets us the greatest outcomes. It maximizes our effectiveness. It brings us the most robust truth. It makes the whole stronger than its parts.

It’s better to argue like friends.

How do you argue like a friend?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.


For support in managing conflict effectively and to learn more about The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team program, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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Photo Credit:buso23/Bigstock.com

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