Where the Really Good Solutions Are Hiding

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Most of the conflicts we see in the news and in our businesses are silly and wasteful.  Stuck in our positions, we snipe, grouse, and power-struggle. No solutions (especially those belonging to others) are good enough. We can easily lose faith in our ability to make progress. This and all conflict melts away when we […]

Helpful or Confusing?

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Other people’s perspectives can either open new possibilities or merely add confusion. Mostly, we get to choose which it will be. And they get to choose how long they will remain engaged and keep contributing.   In your corner, Mike PS: And if we all remain open enough, we can listen more deeply, unearth stuck-but-silly […]

At Each Others’ Throats

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For the most part, we can all agree about the symptoms of a problem (say, the volume of traffic at rush hour or a spike in complaints from our clients). With some coaxing, we can all agree about the pain the problem causes. But it’s too easy to be (actively or passively) at each others’ throats when we discuss why […]

The Fundamental Challenge for Teams

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The fundamental challenge for any team of two or more people is trust. When there is lack of trust, issues about who does what, who has the ideas, who sets the agenda, and who gets credit bloom into conflict, politics, and poor results. To build trust in a team, we start with ourselves. We choose to […]

shortest distance

The Shortest Distance

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We are here, we need to be there, and we need to take these steps to get there. It’s the straight line, the shortest distance. Yet other people not only can’t see it, they get in the way. They don’t do their part. They engage in politics, passive or aggressive resistance, and interference. Why can’t they see it? Why […]

When Meetings Are Painful

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Most meetings serve two distinct functions: to track and to choose. These functions don’t mix well. In a tracking meeting, we check progress, coordinate with each other, and hold ourselves accountable for selected chunks of work. Tracking meetings are shorter and more frequent. They range from a daily, 5-minute, stand up scrum to a biweekly […]

right?

Being Right Is Awful And What Works Better

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Being right is awful. How can it be that we are so sure we are right and yet everyone argues with, fights, or ignores us? It’s because we really want to be right. Which means that we want them to either be wrong or capitulate. That’s win-lose. They can feel it and they will resist […]

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Shared Values and Unshared Values

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Shared values are helpful in teams. If you and I have similar values, we will have less conflict and our collaboration will be easier. But we need not have shared values. Great collaboration and solutions can come from our different values. We only need to know what each other’s values are and commit to finding […]