With all the companies that I have been blessed to have owned over the years, I never refused to listen to a contrary idea; because it’s contrary ideas that spawn innovation, effectiveness and enhanced profitability. But, when a team member of mine only had the contrary idea with no analysis, I encouraged and insisted on some sort of prove-up. This always separates the ‘shot from the hip’ idea versus real opportunity.
So, if you’re the boss, manager, supervisor, team leader, etc. who isn’t listening to contrary ideas…you shouldn’t be the boss. Remember the adage, “if the two of us agree all the time, one of us is unnecessary”. When I was the boss, the last thing I needed around me was a bunch of ‘yes’ men or women.
Opinion is a horse of a different color. It’s not unusual for opinion not to be anything other than whining or jealousy, which is as an example, the difference of contrary ideas and opinion, in the questions of; ‘What do you think?’ versus ‘How would you do this?’
Therefore, I recommend that contrary ideas be introduced to the boss only if the idea has to do with, 1)making more money, making more sales or gaining more customers, 2) saving money or cost reductions, 3) reducing stress or pressure on the organization or anything to do with operating effectiveness, 4)talent improvement or personal development.
Anyone in any organization who is an ‘achiever’ and interested the process of how to ‘Build Your Career ™’ will be thinking these thoughts and will be delivering more ‘value’ to the organization. See my article How To Widen The Gap Between Your Compensation Versus Your Value,