Being comfortable with the process

It’s okay to let things heat up during a debate, but you have to release the pressure after the battle or resentment will occur and build in an aggregated matter.

After a debate, you have the responsibility to make sure everyone is whole, even if it means you have to apologize for taking things too far for the circumstances. 

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The spirit of inquiry

Amazing leaders are not interested in winning for their own ego. They understand that finding the truth benefits the whole team so everyone can win. 

Open your mind and look for answers, not victory.

Without a face or a voice to convey emotion, written text can easily be misconstrued as being terse, sarcastic, snarky, or even mean. 

Always assume you don’t know the tone of any written communication you receive and openly inquire as to the emotions of your debate partner.

Many people enter into a debate ready to battle with only one side knowing the rules and purpose of engagement. 

Before beginning any debate or argument, discuss with the other party a purposeful outcome and define clear rules of engagement.

If the emotions are high, debaters might assume that the other parties are against them.

Unless it's a life or death situation or your job is at stake, keep the emotion low and believe what the other party is communicating about their emotion and perspective. Keep the attacks on the facts.

Learning and winning

Amazing leaders see any small conflict like a cockroach in a slum wall — if one shows up, there must be many more behind the surface. 

When conflict arises unexpectedly, seize the opportunity to examine the circumstances and the underlying issues. You may find solutions that prevent huge systemic breakdowns or open you to massive new opportunities.

An office or business is a fascinating ecosystem that often combines unlikely people in high-pressure ways without concern for personality, style, or methodology. Everyone just assumes that people will find a way to get along. In reality, it takes effort on everyone's part.

Start every debate thinking of the other person as your best friend. Seek to help them understand and feel good about the engagement at the beginning, middle and end.

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RELATED IDEAS

Emotions play an important role in the conflict by altering how you appraise the situation. 

Stay calm and don't lose your temper. If you lose your temper, you’ll only antagonize your opponent, which will further heighten his or her wrath.

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IDEAS

Effective communication

... is imperative for every successful business. Poor communication inevitably causes misunderstandings, confusion and conflicts that hinder productivity and professional relationships.

  1. Define Acceptable Behavior. Create a framework for decisioning, use a published delegation of authority statement, encourage sound business practices in collaboration, team building, leadership development, and talent management .
  2. Hit Conflict Head-on. Intervene pro-actively.
  3. Don't play favorites, don’t get involved in drama, and don’t tolerate manipulative, self-serving behavior.
  4. Understand the other’s motivations prior to weighing in. Take the action that will help others best achieve their goals.
  5. The Importance Factor. Avoid conflict for the sake of conflict.
  6. View Conflict as Opportunity. Divergent positions addressed properly can stimulate innovation and learning in ways like minds can't even imagine.

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