Support vs. Agreement

Healthy debate with the Client’s best interests in mind results in greater value by harnessing the collective genius of the Team through an environment in which great ideas can thrive.

But when that conflict threatens the Teams peak performance, we always refer to our Core Values to help drive our behaviors.

1) Simplify Complex Agribusiness Issues

2) Know every transaction, every owner and every operator of every farm in our sandbox

3) S&S managed Assets are Tour Ready and Sale Ready

4) S&S is High Tech: High Touch

5) Agility is our most significant competitive advantage, the ability to recognize, and adapt and execute -quickly

The best Teams are diverse in thinking and will always bring a variety of ideas and solutions. We want to unlock rather than constrain creativity and genius to bring forth the collective knowledge and experience of the Team. Highly functioning Teams can put all of the ideas on the table, move them around, combine pieces from different ideas, discuss, debate and ultimately select a course of action and execute on it.

Even the best teams get stuck in a subjective (vs objective) mindset, defending their individual ideas, trying to prove their points and explain their positions, ultimately spending way too much time moving from debate to execution. Smart teams can usually create more than one good solution.  If you find yourself stuck, return to your Core Values for some guidance.

Anger, anxiety, resentment, embarrassment or other emotions that block the development of trusting relationships between anyone on a team will lead to dysfunction and weakness on that team. Conflict is a normal part of everyday living – learning to address it in a respectful way is a valuable skill, that needs to be trained and practiced regularly.

By focusing on Features and Benefits or Risks and Mitigants in an objective manner, every opportunity can benefit from healthy conflict, particularly if you have both an advocate and skeptic in every strategic discussion.

Healthy Debate vs. Dysfunctional Interaction

There’s a fine line between healthy debate and dysfunctional interactions. Some people just really enjoy the debate, others enjoy the questions and answer session – even when it’s no longer productive. If you find yourself stuck in debate, take a break, go to the balcony, review your Core Values and ask yourself how serious the consequences are. Frequently, we find our individual experiences influence interpretations, lead to misunderstandings and result in delays.

Secretly Resenting the Decision – Retaliation

Every deal needs a strong advocate and a strong skeptic and ultimately a decision. “Maybe” is not a decision. Holdouts, who finally just give in, but secretly resent the decision can jeopardize the Team, the culture and ultimately the Client’s best interests. With dysfunctional teams this can be dangerous because folks who just get tired and give up may work behind the scenes to prove themselves right in the end. You may not be able to tell it’s happening in the moment, but later it will become painfully obvious.

Even if we don’t have 100% AGREEMENT on an idea (pro or con), we can strive for 100% SUPPORT before executing.

What does support look like? It’s not enough to just say I support something: I must demonstrate true support during the execution phase. The best way to ensure this is to clarify what support looks like with your team. Support looks and feels a lot like ownership.

Brett MacNeil