It would be lovely if people always agreed with us, or would it? I think to get the best from people and situations there must be an element of challenge. Without the questioning can we really be sure that we are being as effective as we should be?
We are often very sure of our own thoughts and ideas, and this can become very fixed in our minds. We spend time finding evidence to support this viewpoint and this makes our views even more entrenched. This isn’t always the most productive way to be. The more you test things the better they become.
Only if we continue to test our views and ideas will we ever get improvements and developments that will advance things. The challenge we face can identify problems or areas that need to be addressed. Rather than seeing is as a damaging or detrimental thing we should see it as a way to move forward.
I know that challenging people’s views is a real test for most people, and when that person is more senior than you in the organisation you are working in it becomes huge. People, I am sure, can sometimes find it difficult to challenge me, but I have to be prepared to listen and consider what is being asserted. It can make you feel quite defensive but that is not the right approach.
We have to see the benefits from being asked to qualify, review and explain. It will push us towards a more rounded and fuller position where we can improve still further. I urge everyone particularly those working in communication roles to start to learn how to make a challenge appropriately. For leaders the key is being able to accept the challenge and respond.