Disagreements Are Good

I have heard it said “If everybody says it’s so, then the chances are very good that it is really not so”. I think this is another way of saying that if everybody agrees, then you have a problem. Healthy disagreement within a team is a desirable condition as long as it is handled properly.


When putting together your team it is easy to get lulled into the comfort of bringing on “Known Quantities” and friends. A problem that this situation can generate is complacency and a lack of diverse thinking.


Issues and problems need to be looked at from many vantage points before the best solution can be generated. Different people with different perspectives will provide this. Just as “sales” people will invariably generate a sales solution, “finance” people will also generate a finance solution. The “best” solution may indeed incorporate aspects of both sales and finance.


With this diversity of thought and perspective will come disagreement. This will be healthy, as long as everyone plays by the rules that:
1. The disagreement is not personal, and
2. The objective is to generate the “best” solution, not “my” solution.


The end result of this team management by disagreement is both a stronger team and a stronger business. “Group Think” and “blind spots” are avoided and the best aspects of all perspectives can be incorporated into running the business. That makes for a stronger business.

3 thoughts on “Disagreements Are Good”

  1. Great point! There is a natural human tendency to gather in groups of like-minded individuals. And this can impact the hiring process in particular. At the company or organizational level, it can be reinforced by strong company culture or lack of movement in positions or roles. A company culture that explicitly encourages diversity in thought, in background, and in processes, as well as cross-fertilization and motion between groups can effectively counter the natural trend to homogeneity that limits the group.

  2. Steve-
    I agree, “respectful” disagreements are good for the solution and the team as long as the goal is the same. I also think that trust plays a big part in the equation.

  3. I completely disagree, I just had to say this since the post was about getting the group of diversity and thus far we are all agreeing.

    Truthfully I like diverse teams and think they will produce the best results, but the challenge is effectively guiding the team. Too often folk fall in the “my solution” rut and then the ability to get back on track is highly dependent on the communication skills of the other members.

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