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Episode 24: What If We Disagree On Direction?

decision making podcast Jun 07, 2022

How do I align myself with the leader of my team when I don’t quite agree with the decision or the direction we are going?

Can good things come from disagreeing with someone? I imagine when you hear the word disagreement your brain goes to arguments, positioning, power plays or even broken relationships. We do live in a world that struggles with disagreeing in healthy ways.

Often “unity” and agreeing are seen as the same. Is it possible to pursue unity with a desire for moving forward together and still make room for disagreements? 

The word that catches my attention in your question is “align.” Agreement is having the same opinion about something. Alignment is about the positional relationship between things – an alliance or linkage for the purposes of working together. We need teams that are aligned – but not necessarily in agreement.

Listen in for my own story of finding alignment. Here are a few things I learned: 

  1. Timing matters – I brought it up early before we moved to execution so there was room to make changes without having to stop the engine and redirect.
  2. Humility matters – I was honest and direct in bringing up my concerns but not oppositional. It gave my leader space to explore alternatives instead of digging in his heels.
  3. When the decision was final, I chose to follow – You see, I still respected aspects of the decision. I learned more about how the industry works in the process and found the linkages of alignment where I was able to work together. 

How do YOU align? It’s a personal journey that you have to walk your own journey. 

We don’t naturally hold space to engage in disagreement well. Respectful dialogue takes practice … something that we don’t give ourselves or others the grace to do very easily. 

The kind of dialogue you're trying to do is about slowing down, asking questions, listening respectfully – all things we know we should do but are sometimes hard to do in the heat of the moment. 

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