Managers: Ditch Teamwork and Embrace “Majority Opinion”

Dec 16 / Metron
Successful managers and leaders have to increasingly work with more stakeholders than just their own team. Learning how to move stakeholders forward in spite of differing opinions is crucial.

You can't do this alone so you're collaborating with more people in different parts of your organisation than ever before.

Not all of these people report to you, and more people means more opinions. So how do you learn to build a majority opinion? This is a crucial skill for a modern manager.

Another reason is because senior leaders operate by making decisions based on majority opinion. They debate and weigh up different options.

This isn't about blending personalities and smoothing over disagreements; it's about embracing diverse perspectives and forging a majority view that drives powerful results.

Roadblocks to majority opinion

But why do so many managers struggle with agreeing decisions based on majority opinion?

Here are three common roadblocks:

1. The Comfort Zone Trap: We get used to making decisions within the confines of our team and relying on trusted colleagues and familiar processes. Stepping outside this comfort zone, where diverse opinions challenge our assumptions, can feel messy and unpredictable.

2. The "Yes" Syndrome: We sometimes prioritise harmony over healthy debate. To avoid conflict, we encourage passive agreement, even if it stifles creativity and leads to suboptimal decisions.

3. The Fear of the Unknown: Collective working and forming opinions, thrives on open-mindedness and a willingness to learn from others. But clinging to our own expertise and fearing the unfamiliar can prevent us from tapping into the collective intelligence of the room.
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3 tips to build a majority opinion

So, how do we break free from these limitations and become masters of building a majority opinion with your teams?

Here are three tips:

1. Embrace the "Open Mic" Policy: Encourage your team to voice their opinions, even if they differ from yours. Create a safe space for respectful dissent, knowing that diverse perspectives lead to richer solutions.

2. Facilitate, Don't Dictate: Shift your role from decision-maker to facilitator. Guide the discussion, ask insightful questions, and ensure everyone feels heard. Remember, you're not painting a masterpiece alone; you're co-creating it. Facilitate and shift towards a gradual view.

3. Celebrate the "Majority View": Once a majority view emerges, rally behind it. Don't dwell on individual disagreements; focus on the collective wisdom and leverage it to drive action. Remember, the majority view isn't a compromise; it's the path forward.

Conclusion

Building a majority opinion is a skill. It isn't about sacrificing individual strengths; it's about harnessing them in a unified symphony.

By embracing diverse perspectives, fostering healthy debate, and celebrating the majority view, you can unlock a level of creativity, innovation, and effectiveness that traditional teamworking can't match.

So, ditch the team huddle, grab your collective paintbrush, and start co-creating the masterpiece!

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