Healthy Dissidence



When you’re in a meeting, it is your ethical obligation to challenge the ideas in productive ways, offer alternative information, suggest that you have some additional ideas, and to truly listen to what others have to say. And then whatever decision is made, support the idea. It is extremely dysfunctional and unhealthy for the organization for you instead to walk out and disagree about what happened in the meeting to others who weren’t in the meeting. That’s called a meeting outside of the meeting, and that’s passive-aggressive behavior. So when you are in the meeting, it’s your job to be heard and to hear.

Jim Collins did research on the 3,000 best decisions ever made in business. What he found is that in every case, there was dissension at the time of the decision. In other words, there was not uniform buy-in. The job is to challenge the ideas, but once the decision is made, is to line up and support that idea. Even if it’s a bad decision, make a bad decision good. So no meetings outside of meetings. Instead, bring your ideas in that meeting and be productive for your team members.

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