While some leaders literally wire their brains for gridlock and compromise that can poison communications, it’s also true that disagreements can blast open doors to life-changing ethical insights. When people differ with the brain in mind, they build goodwill among those who differ. How so?
If you’ve ever benefited from unique insights, you’ve likely also seen opposing viewpoints from high-performance minds, that beg to differ. So why then, do disagreements also break up relations, terminate projects, shut down brilliant people, promote racism, and even ignite wars?
To disagree well, is also to lead well, and they both have more to do with how human brains prosper, than you may realize. In brain based settings, disagreement avoids clashes on the one hand, and offers amazing new zest for genius, on the other. How so?
1. Learn from facts in the opposite viewpoint: Look for and engage people on opposite sides of controversial issues, and watch facts fly from new angles to extend winning results. The other side of war is peace, for instance, and its tactics are taught by brilliant minds sometimes silenced, for a one-side-only approach to conflict.
2. Solve complex problems with diverse thinkers. You’ll be surprised how many hidden and unused parts of the brain spring alive, when people dig for solutions across genders, cultures, beliefs and background experiences.
3. Draw on multiple intelligences for fresh ideas. Each human brain comes equipped with at least 8 intelligences, that offer innate tools for drawing solutions from alternative pools. Disagreements can kick-start progressive pathways past ruts or routines, that otherwise barricade progress. Have you seen it happen?
4. Surprise others by improving your own approaches. Serotonin chemicals for goodwill literally spread to energize others’ minds, whenever you create changes that genuinely improve their situation. Change, grow, improve some area of your own work, and watch others progress in response. Let others know what they taught you along the way to keep serotonin growth alive though.
5. Anticipate angry responses that differences often bring. For many people who operate in one-way-only-steps, their brains’ chemical and electrical activity turn toxic when confronted with serious differences. Add to this the related cortisol rush confrontations surge to the brain, and you heat tempers and sharpen barbs in a heartbeat. Those who prepare ahead, tend to come with strategies that engage people meaningfully, before face offs from different views hit the fans.
6. Affirm each person’s genuine contributions. You increase lively mental tone, and open spigots to creativity for far more innovative possibilities, when you welcome common ground at first. Praise what already works well, before you hammer out the differences, and watch solutions fly.
7. Risk the ambiguity that favors unity over uniformity. Uniformity with its rigid one-size-fits-all approach differs from unity, which mixes in differences to create a new soup altogether. Unity flavors differences with spices people create and celebrate together. It takes ongoing risk to polish innovative products that stem from differences. Continually test results, risk constant tweaking, and watch differences increase wealth and build caring communities.
8. Toss in good tone and teach less experienced leaders. Tone’s a skill that all can learn, yet at times it’s practiced only by few. It’s found in genuine questions that shatter silences that hold back healthy merges. The opposite of anger’s shut downs, good tone opens mental acumen through apologies whenever darts are fired, and laughter to shake off personal offenses. It promotes success through the strengths found in differences at work.
9. Leverage curiosity and expect brilliance from mistakes reworked. Watch any genius work and you’ll also see hope and courage that fired Emerson to say: In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts. Mistake bring differences together for another go at transformed minds. Choose to be curious and the very act rewires your brain for collaborative works of genius. Has it happened in your circles?
10. Stick a neuron in your head and laugh. Find humor in yourself, your quirks, your previous biases, your false starts – and watch new neuron pathways form across differences. Paths toward complex projects, suddenly emerge from refreshing insights and a growing need for alternative perspectives. Do new neuron pathways enrich your journey with those who look, think, and act differently from you?
Each of the brain based tools here capitalize on differences, and depend on disagreements, to release new brainpower. Similarly, each one can open spaces to expand ideas, gravitate to brighter futures, and unify people who build wealth from including differences, and benefiting from disagreements.
How many top disagreement tools do you use at the peaks? One? Ten? Could differences, expressed in well articulated disagreements – rewire your brain and reboot your circles in the coming week?
YOUR TURN! Join our Brain Based Circles! Would love to meet you at any of the following!
Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset
Smart Skill 14. Target Agreement in Disagreeable Settings
Smart Skill 15. Target Lessons from Opposing Views
Smart Skill 16. Target Multiple Intelligences – Run from Lectures
Smart Skill 17. Target Teen Talent
Smart Skill 18. Target Brain Cell Regeneration
Smart Skill 19. Target Differences between Gender Brains
Smart Skill 20. Target Neurogenetics of Ethics