Steps to Management Success – Step 7: Hire People Who Disagree with You

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 28th, 2010


Hire People Who Disagree with You

It’s only human nature to be firmly attached to your own opinions, but that’s not always the best way to manage. In fact, it almost never is. The opinions and perspectives of your coworkers and others may be an invaluable resource—yet it is often one that is undervalued and overlooked.

Diversity of thought won’t always make it easier for you to make decisions. In fact, by pointing out possible pitfalls and gray areas, others may complicate certain decisions that initially seemed like no-brainers. But this practice will absolutely have a real positive impact on morale because everyone appreciates it when their opinions are sought, listened to, and valued.

WHAT IT MEANS: As a manager, you can gain the benefit of soliciting multiple viewpoints only if you actively and regularly send the signals that you welcome such feedback. Otherwise, people will be understandably reluctant to disagree. Ask people directly what they think of a particular strategy or proposal—and be sensitive to the fact that your feedback is more likely to be frank and uninhibited if it’s sought in a one-on-one setting.

ACTION PLAN: Always make it a point to thank people who share their insights. And make it clear to everyone that they should always feel free to “weigh in” on a pending project or business decision if they have something to add to the discussion.

EVEN BETTER: Seeking input from people outside your immediate workgroup will help you to make smarter decisions, so be especially aggressive in seeking it out. Contact people you don’t deal with on a regular basis and get their thoughts—great advice often comes from the most surprising places.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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