Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Confrontation Hardly Helps a Leader

Confrontation hardly helps a leader.
Here are the words of Thomas Jefferson who determined that direct conflict was unproductive and ineffective:
I never yet saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. Conviction is the effect of our dispassionate reasoning, either in solitude, or weighing within ourselves dispassionately what we hear from others standing uncommitted in argument ourselves. 
I expend a lot of energy trying to convince other people to see things my way. Instead, I acknowledge the other person's points and recognize their validity (everyone is entitled to opinions). Then, I move on and consider both sides of the argument. To my subordinates I make known my decision. To my colleagues I declare my final stance and work hard to compromise so I can see my vision realized.

This post is part of my "Leadership Lessons From American Presidents" series.

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