The power of constructive disagreement

Untitled-1
From Saving Your Team with Constructive Dissension

Disagreement is a precious resource in learning, judgment and decision-making. Often people avoid openly expressing disagreement in a fear of offending others or as the result of the peer or team pressure. That neglect of disagreement results in the failure to benefit from the constructive forces of disagreement, including:

1. Improved communication:

  • Clarification and greater understanding of ideas
  • Increased retention of relevant information
  • Increased use of critical thinking skills

From http://howtobeaspeaker.com

2. More productive teamwork:

  • Stimulation of interest and involvement
  • Stronger working relationships and cooperation
  • Increased interest and motivation for problem solving
  • Increased understanding of self and others
  • Increased group interaction, trust and cohesiveness
  • Enhanced awareness of problems in group functioning
  • Changes can be made before the group is impaired
  • Decreased tension, frustration
  • Higher levels of morale and satisfaction
  • Decreased likelihood of acting out negative feelings indirectly

From http://www.ummaland.com

3. Better Quality decisions and problem solutions:

  • More creative ideas
  • More decision alternatives
  • More time spent thinking through decisions

From http://leadershipforlearning.wordpress.com

Conflict is often the first step for getting rid of outdated procedures, revising regulations, changing organisational culture, fostering innovation and creativity. Addressing rather than suppressing conflict opens the lines of communication, gets people talking to each other (instead of about each other)  and makes people feel like they’re part of a team that cares. As a result, people learn how to work harmoniously, come up with creative solutions and reach outcomes that benefit everyone involved.

From http://www.joegerstandt.com

However many of us are programmed to avoid conflict or do not know how to handle disagreement in a constructive way. So we have quiet, reserved, polite workplaces, but there is a whole bunch of “stuff” simmering below the surface. We cannot be honest and disagree with each other. We sit around the conference table and nod our heads up and down, and then after the meeting we tell the truth to a smaller group of peers with whom we actually feel comfortable being honest.

From http://www.fundable.com

Below are some ideas to help your team learn to voice dissenting opinions and resolve disagreements in a constructive way:

  1. Raise awareness: Let members know that disagreement can be healthy and that the team encourages constructive tension. This will help set the stage and encourage more “voices” to come forward.
  2. Value listening: Draft listening as a core value of the team. Ultimately, we cannot learn from dissension if our hearts and minds are not really open to the conversation.
  3. Respect always rules: Constructive dissension boils down to team members offering respect to their colleagues. When this principle is ignored, any level of disagreement can quickly become unhealthy. If you have any sense of being on shaky ground after engaging in an intellectual battle with someone, patch that rift with kind words, support and willingness to listen. You may have to retreat for a while until things cool down, but you must let the other person know that you still respect and admire them.
  4. Encourage dissenting opinions: Teach team members how to disagree diplomatically. Many individuals may want to disagree, yet are not sure how to avoid “causing trouble”. Offer ways to speak up by suggesting healthy “templates” or a “scripts” to do so.
  5. Pose alternatives: If they find fault with an idea or strategy — be sure that team members attempt to offer an improved version or alternative solution. Constructive criticism is always preferred.
  6. Deal with dyad issues: If two members seem to be experiencing personal conflict, ensure this does not play out during team meetings. Encourage a dialogue to resolve core issues outside of the team and contain “toxic spills” rooted in personal issues.
  7. Focus on solutions, not the “win”: Ultimately, one single idea does not have to “win” — and this can help take the pressure out of collaboration. Masters of innovation such as Pixar, combine the ideas of many contributors to formulate solutions. In this way being honest and open, won’t take sway from another team member’s work.

 
From http://www.madofficehero.com

The same rules apply to handling disagreement within the family: never stop caring and listening no matter how angry you are.

Love is caring for each other even when you're angryFrom Pinterest

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Resources:

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Parenting Teenagers: Finding Sense in Nonsense

Teens
From http://www.motivationalplus.com

‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers” by Nigel Latta is one of my favourite books on parenting teenagers. I’ve read this book together with my teenager and it helped both of us to understand each other better. However there are a few points in Nigel’s book that do not feel right to me. One of them is about ‘trivializing the nonsense which comes from many kid’s mouths as they’re trying to find their own way in the world.’

I can partially share that view when it comes to emotional outbursts caused my tiredness or hormonal changes. However I would not ‘trivialize’ teenagers’ attempts to question everything around them and come up with their own way of thinking, no matter how ‘nonsensical’ it might seem. I would not be scared to get into a debate. 😉


From http://www.motivationalplus.com

As an example, if a teenage girl comes up with an idea, that running away at 16 and having a baby would make her life more ‘independent’ and ‘enjoyable’, I would not ‘trivialize’ or ‘dismiss’ that. Instead, I would attempt to have a good chat with her, trying to understand why she is feeling like that and discuss the potential consequences. If a teenager comes up with something like that, there must be a ‘trigger’ in the environment she lives in. Lack of attention or understanding at home? Too much control or complete lack of it? Anything else?


From http://www.aynla.org

Similarly,  if a teenage girl is thinking of becoming a prostitute or porno star for glamorous lifestyle or to pay her University fees, rolling eyes, dismissing or ignoring that ‘idea’ won’t help. Try to investigate why she is thinking that way. Was it the story of a Duke University Porno Star that made her think that way? Or an article in a mainstream publication describing the ‘pleasurable’ side of that trade? Or one of the many blog posts that calls for prostitutes and porno stars to be ‘respected’ for their ‘pleasurable’ trade. Why would not they be respected by the society for something they ‘absolutely love’ doing? After all, we all know by now that girls do enjoy sex and sex work is now legally recognized in some parts of the world. What’s wrong then with earning money by doing something so ‘enjoyable’ and ‘pleasurable’?


From http://www.newyorkdailysun.com/brazil-drops-prostitute-promotion/

Once we know the source of the ‘ideas’, it is time to do some research on whether that option is really ‘that glamorous’ and ‘pleasurable’ as your teenager might think.

First of all, let’s find out whether sex workers do ‘enjoy’ their trade. As Google kindly points out, we are not the only ones wondering about that. Below are a few responses from Yahoo!Answers-UK:

  • ‘Who cares about THEM?’
  • ‘No, they’re just after the money’
  • ‘Most of them are man-haters’
  • ‘Few are like ‘Belle de Jour’. Most are in highly dangerous situations on the streets selling themselves for a piitance to feed their drug habit.’
  • ‘no one enjoys HAVING to service loads of guys they don’t like, don’t find attractive, probably treat them like rubbish, and probably are too stinky/wierd/inadequate to be able to have sex with a regular woman without paying for it!’
  • ‘Most prostitutes don’t do it for the sex, but as a way of making fast money. Usually a life of abuse behind them, they lose any sense of self worth’
  • ‘You would be surprised if you knew how much prostitutes hated their clients.’

From http://www.vice.com

The majority of responses on Yahoo!Answers-international is pretty similar:

  • ‘Very few do. It’s a grind, just like any other job, except there is always the danger of running into a maniac trick. Most prostitutes just do their best to block out the act and pray the guy climaxes quickly. Think about it: would you enjoy a stinky, slobbery, drunken inebriate all over you?’
  • ‘Nope, most of them actually become numb to it. They begin to view sex as a very emotionless thing. Most prostitutes will do anything but kiss on the mouth.’

Poverty and Sin - The Prostitute #1From http://napkindad.com

OK, it looks like there is not much ‘enjoyment’ for most workers in that trade. How about respect? As reflected in some answers provided above, the majority of sex workers do not seem to get much respect either. Even their clients often treat them like  ‘rubbish’ in spite of all their ‘hard work’. Why is that?

To answer that question, let’s have a closer look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Chart
From http://timvandevall.com

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often represented as a pyramid, with the lowest or most fundamental needs at the bottom. He distinguished 5 types of needs:

  1. Physiological needs such as food, water and sleep
  2. Safety needs such as security of the body, health and property
  3. Social needs such as friendship, family, belonging and identity
  4. Esteem needs such as recognition, self-esteem, confidence, justice and respect
  5. Growth or self-actualization needs such as creativity, problem solving, art, beauty, personal fulfilment and freedom.

The assumption of the hierarchy is that the lower needs have to be met first, and are preconditions for the realization of the higher needs, although a temporary insufficiency in the lower levels will not undo the aspirations of the higher levels.

Sex is one of our basic physiological needs, like food, water, sleep, breathing and excretion. Meeting our physiological needs is important for our survival. If we are starving, can’t breath or are bursting to go to the toilet, all the other needs will be temporarily put on hold. However do we ‘respect’ the air we breath or the water we drink? Do we ‘respect’ the toilet bowl we are using? Sex trade clearly fits into that category and therefore sex workers usually get no more respect than toilet bowls.


From http://www.beachcitieshomesblog.com

However sexual intimacy with a loving partner is much higher up the hierarchy, on the same level with friendship, family, love. This level is about belonging, being accepted, loved and cared about. If we are looking for enjoyment  and respect in sex, we should be able to find it on that level. Not surprisingly, sexual intimacy with a loving and understanding partner is often rated much higher on the ‘enjoyment’ scale, then casual sex, as illustrated by a few comments from Reddit provided below:

  • ‘Over time we come to learn how to push one another’s buttons in just the right way (something that does not happen in casual relationship)’
  • ‘Being in love adds a layer of intimacy that can really intensify sex. It transforms the act from fun sweaty exercise to an expression of love, all tangled up in all the emotions inherent in a loving relationship’
  • ‘I think it’s an undeniable fact that sex is better with romantic chemistry’
  • ‘I’ve had sex with near-strangers, and it’s kind of awkward.’ While ‘Sex with someone you love is transcendent. Sometimes, in the middle I think: “Wow, this is really happening. I’m not hallucinating, this is really happening and to me.’

Angel5
From www.photosight.ru

If a teenager is still not convinced, let her read a few stories from the life of prostitutes, such as:

And get ready for many more debates to come while your young people are going through crucial teenage years 😉

Teenagers! i like to have humor cause i am raising one right now

 From http://www.pinterest.com 

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