March 19, 2024 5:25 am Published by

In a recent session, one of my clients shared an insightful quote about conflict: “We debate to learn, we don’t debate to win.” 

This is a simple phrase which keeps the outcome clear. It’s about debating ideas, opportunities, the search for the right answer or the pursuit of truth – all of which produce healthy conflict. This kind of conflict isn’t personal, makes us better as a team, builds trust, and produces excellent results.  

When we debate to “win” it presumes many things, one of which is that someone is right, and the other is wrong. Not a lot of learning happens this way and it gives conflict a bad rap.  

Healthy conflict provides an opportunity to refine ideas and significantly impact outcomes for the greater good of the company. Without it, mediocrity will prevail. If that’s your outcome, no one wins or learns, we simply fail at the results we intended and damage relationships along the way.  

Debate as you will and make it a learning experience. Your future depends on it.