Does it frustrate you when your colleagues are all nodding in agreement in a team meeting with the boss and you know some of them don’t agree? Just yesterday, they dumped all kinds of drama and issues on you but swore you to secrecy. And yet, when the opportunity arises for them to be open and honest with the team, they’re quiet, they look away, or, worse yet, nod their head in agreement. Why are they not saying anything?
Adam Grant is a professor and organizational psychologist at the Wharton School of Business and has (for six years running) the most popular class on campus. He’s being promoted on the Today Show in a week-long series called Unconventional Wisdom, where he shares his points of view.
As I listened to him, a couple things really resonated with me:
- “Kids who grew up with parents who never argued in front of them missed out big time!”
They never witnessed two points of view and they only saw one outcome, while children who
did witness their parents arguing made the connection that they better “think” about what
they’re trying to say.
- “Get heated without getting mad.”
It’s okay to bring passion to your argument, but getting upset actually lowers your ability to
Grant’s messages are constant reminders that our success is very much dependent on how well we interact with others, at home or at work.
Now, back to the team meeting of silent head-nodding and plug-in Grant’s wisdom…
Speak up! Think about what you need to say and how you need to say it and be prepared to bring passion to your argument because you believe strongly in what you’re saying. Share your point of view, and, through a constructive debate, you might reach something even greater than either party could see on their own.
Without open and effective communication, you are hindering your success and the success of those around you.