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Episode 26: Disagreements and Team Cohesion

decision making podcast Jun 21, 2022

We are having a hard time getting through disagreements on the team. What can we do to move through disagreements and create more cohesion?

Let’s take a deeper look at what could be the source of those team disagreements. Which of these is tripping up your team? Or if it’s more than one, where would you start?

Facilitating Meetings

You will need a brave soul who can facilitate and guide the team through disagreements. Someone willing to learn how to navigate group dynamics to address things like:

  • One person monopolizes the conversation, others don’t say a peep 
  • You start on topic, only to have the group get lost down some rabbit trail
  • Someone has a “pet” issue totally unrelated to the topic that derails the conversation
  • Meetings feel unproductive and people are complaining about them

A seasoned facilitator uses techniques to keep the group focused while accommodating new information that surfaces and redirecting when necessary for future discussion. 

Making Decisions

If you are seeing things like unproductive meetings, returning to the same topics or people lacking commitment later after they agreed to something, you may have a decision making process problem.  

  • How are decisions made on your team? 
  • Who has the authority to make which kinds of decisions?
  • Do people know when they have say-so and when they don’t? 
  • Do they know their roles and responsibilities even if they don’t agree?
  • Do people have enough information on the decision to execute it?

Personality and Relationships

If it’s a personality or relationship source of disagreement, you may still see conflicts surface. Maybe you’ll be fielding some frustrations directed toward individuals instead of the topic. People might start taking things too personally and shutting down. 

What I am about to say is going to sound crazy simple – are you ready?

Sometimes people just need to feel heard and validated instead of having their idea or comment challenged every time they speak up. Listening and validating perspective is not the same as agreeing – but it is like a master key that unlocks the gateway to understanding what people need in order to be able find agreement OR figure out how they will manage themselves if they can’t agree.

Cohesion is built by this basic regard for each other in the process of disagreeing. It takes time to listen and seek to understand – but if you do it, you will probably move faster through the disagreement and have more cohesion.

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