Disagreements are important. They prove that people have conviction and care about decision that are made. When decisions are made taking multiple points of view into account, they are generally better decisions - think of a company’s executive team or the President’s cabinet. That concept works well when talking about an ideal scenario where people can put the whole above themselves, but it’s rare that you find a group of individuals who are so emotionally in control.

You may have heard that in order to win an argument, you simply need to shout the loudest. That’s always been disturbing to me, but what’s more disturbing is that even within a small company, there is the need to win.

For the past 8 years I’ve worked in companies, and have unconsciously contributed to the idea of winning. I’ve argued with my bosses and colleagues, and have tried to get things done my way. If there’s one thing that working with smart people has taught me, it’s that my way is often not the best way. What’s more, the entire company has the same goal - to create a product or service that other people enjoy using and are willing to pay for. Nobody disagrees about that, and yet most companies still have disagreements that result in people getting upset on a regular basis.

Over the past year, I’ve begun to accept that I work on a team. Taking that to heart has allowed me to be a more effective communicator and to get more real work done. The trick is to change the default mindset from “I’m competing against these people” to “these people are trying to help me”. It holds true for most things in life - People generally have your best interest in mind, so long as you believe it. It’s important to disagree, but becoming emotionally invested in the result of a disagreement is rarely fruitful. When the team wins, you win.