Turning a Dissenter into an Ally.

19 08 2016

“If a leader comes to office in a seemingly fair election, and tolerates dissent, he or she qualifies for our seal of approval” ~ Stephen Kinzer

So, maybe your kid didn’t win the art contest at school.  Maybe your presidential candidate didn’t even make it through the primaries.  So what if your friend didn’t get the promotion that you think they deserved.  What you need to ask is “does the system work, pretty well?”  As I’ve said many times, 80% of people place themselves in the top 20% of the class/team/group they’re in.  That means ¾ of them are wrong.  They’ll think they’re the best person for the job, or their kid is the best and brightest.  Then, they won’t get what they think they deserve for being the best.  That’s life, and we need to suck it up and drive on.

Leaders, since you HAVE been given the responsibility that comes with leadership, be sure to understand that you might have some dissenters who don’t think you should have the job.  Presuming you won the job fair and square (and we always strive to hire the best candidate), then you need to tolerate some dissent, as long as it doesn’t turn into rebellion.  Understand that those under you might actually have a better idea than you, so give them a thorough listen.  If you have to tell them no, remember to tell them “No, and here’s why…”.  If their idea and your idea both accomplish the same goals, what does it cost you to let them do it their way?  You might find out that their idea does more than just solve the problem at hand.  It might just turn a dissenter into an ally.

Speaking of seals…

Seal

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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