Daily Buzz: Tricks for a Healthy Debate

Argumentative debates aren’t conducive to reaching your organization’s goals. Incorporating these three habits into conversation can make for a more productive discussion. Also: the rationale behind Slack’s new logo.

In any organization, a constant stream of ideas is healthy. What’s not so healthy is the way they are often debated: in disrespectful, toxic arguments that pit team members against one another.

“We get sucked into trying to ‘win’—so we look good or don’t make the group we represent look bad—which leads us to ignore logic and evidence that go against our original beliefs. And so we fight without making much progress,” says Shane Snow on Harvard Business Review. “We can change this dynamic, moving toward more effective discourse (exchanging diverse ideas) and debate (arguing honestly for and against the merits of those ideas), by training people to adopt the right habits.”

Those include:

Remembering that we’re all on the same team. Leaders should emphasize that employees are working together to achieve one shared goal. Snow suggests starting the conversation with phrases such as, “There is no ‘winner.’ The team wins if we make progress.”

Not making it personal, and sticking to the facts. “Arguments tend to fracture, especially when people feel like their ideas or identities are coming under attack,” Snow says. Keep debates on track by differentiating facts from interpretations.

Being intellectually humble. “For a debate to truly be productive, participants need to be willing to respect every viewpoint and change their minds when necessary,” Snow says. “This is what psychologists call intellectual humility, and it’s one of the most important skills a good leader—and productive debater—can develop.”

Why Slack Changed Its Logo

Headed for a brand refresh? Take some tips from Slack, which recently announced its new logo and the rationale behind it.

“Firstly, it’s not change for the sake of change. That said, change is inevitable, and something to be embraced,” the Slack team writes in a post, “but that’s not a good enough reason to change a logo. A good reason to change a logo is that it’s not doing the job you want it to do—and because a simpler, more distinctive evolution of it could do that job better.”

The change comes with a desire to create a more cohesive brand identity, something Slack says is essential for any brand. “The important thing about being a brand is that whenever people see you in the wild, they should recognize that it’s you,” the team writes. “It’s still us. We’re still Slack. But more consistent and, we hope, more instantly recognizable.”

Other Links of Note

Upping your Instagram game this year? The Sprout Social blog outlines nine tools to break down the analytics.

Your meetings management program needs continuous improvement to grow, says MeetingsNet.

Video is an important part of your social marketing strategy. Here’s where the tactic stands amid Facebook’s false video metrics, from Forbes.

(epapijon/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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