A decision was made against your opinion. So you “disagree and commit”. But usually commitment is not enough …
There are different levels of support that a teammate can provide after a decision has been made that they did not originally agree with.
Have you ever had the experience of teammates refusing or complicating a task because they couldn’t handle the fact that a decision was made that they didn’t agree with at all? They say, “It’s dangerous to do that. I just can’t pretend that I’m okay with this.”
This behavior can be deadly for a team. That’s why a certain management practice has taken hold: “Disagree and commit” states that individuals are allowed to disagree while a decision is being made, but that once a decision has been made, everybody must commit to it.
Disagree and commit is not enough
This approach is wonderful, but often not enough. Why?
Ask yourself this question: Which mindset is more likely to lead us to success?
1. the whole team is completely convinced of the decision.
2. half of the team is convinced, the other half goes along with it.
Guess what, no one likes to be wrong. “Confirmation bias” makes people look for arguments that reinforce their opinion. So while I agree to commit to a decision, my doubts may still remain. This may even cause a little “told you so” to slip out of my mouth if the plan doesn’t work out.
You can’t force others to love a decision they disagreed with a few minutes ago. But you can do it for yourself!
What changes when we leave our doubts behind completely? We change our attitude to one of a champion instead of an antagonist.
• It inspires others.
• It destroys your doubts that may still be slowing you down subconsciously.
• It opens your mindset to discover new solutions, which you can only discover if you really want the decision to succeed.
If you’re thinking now, aren’t we losing our ability to look at things from multiple angles? Well, you have taken the time in advance to make every opinion heard, right? Once a decision is made, doubts only hold us back from finding the best way to implement it. Does that make the doubts wrong? Absolutely not, but they don’t help the implementation.
I quick guide to falling in love with a decision
The next time a decision is made that you disagree with, do the following:
1. Understand that the decision was final.
2. Put aside your doubts about the decision. They are of no use now.
3. Put yourself in the position as if the decision had been your own. Practice actually saying it in the group.
4. Feel the success of having come to a decision that you (now) support.
5. Watch your thoughts relax toward the decision. Your brain is able to identify new solutions that can contribute to a successful implementation.
6. Stand up for the decision if a colleague is not as enthusiastic as you.
Become a promoter!
Are you betraying yourself by doing this?
No, you’re putting your team’s success ahead of your desire to be right.
That’s a formula for winning in the long run.