Fight Your Way to Breakthroughs

Many creative teams believe that their greatest mistakes are made when nobody argues. When you really care about an idea, you are likely to develop an opinion; when multiple people have a strong opinion, you’re bound to disagree – and clash. Your approach to managing the impassioned “fighting” that ensues is a critical factor in your ability to find the best solution. While some people shy away from confrontation, we have found that a healthy dose of tension helps ideas thrive.

When a new project or problem rises to the surface, the solution often involves various elements. Perhaps a web design issue requires consideration from both designers and programmers? Perhaps a confusing piece of copy requires a decision from the Art Director and the Account Manager? Especially if you have a team of people, each with a different expertise, you are likely to have many different “answers” (whether people admit it or not).In poorly run teams, the person with the most power or experience just makes the call. Or, sometimes people openly disagree and eventually some people become apathetic and give up. You are left with someone’s supposed answer, but often not the best one.

Rather than focus on the discomforts of fighting, consider the benefits from opposite perspectives duking it out! Imagine that the answer to a problem lies somewhere between A and B.  If A and B keep arguing about the “location” of the answer, then they have a chance of covering enough of the “terrain of possibilities” to stumble upon the answer.

Rather than focus on the discomforts of fighting, consider the benefits from opposite perspectives duking it out!

In contrast, if A just gives up the fight, then B’s opinion “wins” – not out of diligence but rather out of ignorance. And when you have more individuals involved as you “triangulate” and zero in on the solution, your outcome is likely to be more thoughtful…but only if everyone is willing to stand their ground and exert their gravitational force in the process!

Our team at Behance strongly advocates fighting. In fact, we get worried when any one of us just “agrees” without any questions or heated discussion. Our passion for the work we do sparks many different ideas and varying opinions. As long as we have a culture of honesty and a willingness to listen, we can use disagreement to foster realizations.

At the very least, recognize that the best answer dwells in the land of the unknown. If you have the guts and relentless fortitude to advocate for your field of view while considering someone else’s, then you’re likely to help the breakthrough find you.

More insights on: Creative Blocks, Perseverance
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