How True Leaders Handle Disagreements

Leading a team is not easy, and while your group may have your back 90% of the time, eventually you will come up to an issue where you face a brick wall. For others, it may feel that every decision comes against opposition. When you encounter this opposition, especially in a stressful situation, you may wish that people would simply fall into line. Most of the time you react by holding your ground, getting aggressive, and only afterwards feel flustered and a bit embarrassed. But, don’t worry! Here are some ways to deal with disagreements in your group.

Keep A Level Attitude

The biggest thing to do is remember to keep your head. You are the leader, and no matter what you must set the example. That means avoiding bickering. Members of your team may be passionate about certain things, or may feel they are doing the whole group a favor by standing up to you, for lack of a better word. Don’t take it personally. They may not even realize that you feel disrespected! So, take a breath and listen to them. Even in a stressful situation you should try to remain calm and let them say their piece.

Accept That You Can be Wrong

As the leader, you may feel that the entire fate of the group rests on your shoulders. That means every decision, no matter if it's right or wrong in retrospect, should be followed through since you know exactly what will make you succeed. The problem is, from time to time, others will make a better decision than you.

Being a good leader isn’t about making all the choices, but knowing how to ensure that best choices get made. While the previous tip had you keep a level head and listen to your team, this tip is about accepting that it's okay to change your mind. You will feel embarrassed from time to time, but people will recognize that you are not stubborn but open to hearing their concerns. This will make you a better leader. The fact is, the more you grow as a leader, the better you should be at bringing out the best in others.

Ask for Other’s Advice

Having people in your group whose opinions you trust is important. From time to time, you will need another voice simply to let you know you are being a bit unreasonable. Having people who express themselves honestly and respectfully will do more for you when handling disagreements than just about anything. When you have an ear that is impartial to the disagreement and can reassure you that it's okay to back down, you’ll be able to be more productive as a leader and will ensure that you are keeping yourself from becoming too controlling.

Make An Executive Decision

It happens. Your team is going back and forth over an issue that has no right answer, or you simply feel that it is something worth standing your ground for. You will need to make a final decision in order for your group to move forward. I will stress, do this sparingly. When it works, people will pat you on the back and forget about it. When you make the wrong call, you’ll have a hard time letting it down. So being smart with when to make executive decisions is key.

The biggest flag for when you need to step in and make a decision is when time is being eaten up unnecessarily. People can forget the bigger picture, especially when they have an idea of their particular role in the group. When a small piece of the puzzle is slowing everything down it may be time to step in.

Before making an executive decision, try and bring your group to a certain consensus. Listen to them, and let them voice their opinions. Make the most informed choice you can. Lastly, make sure the group understands why you are making the choice, and that you need everyone to work down this set path. Even in an executive decision, there is room for compromise. You may be able to take bits of both sides and apply them to your solution. Know that your goal isn’t to make everyone happy, but to get the job done. You need your team behind you to do that. Treat them with respect, and they will return it.