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Leading Ideas: Unlocking Horns

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” — Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Italian painter, sculptor and inventor Last week, during a discussion on business strategy, two of my clients really locked horns. They each took a position and dug in their heels. Eventually the conversation reached a standstill. To get them back on track I had them switch gears and play devil’s advocate – literally building a case against their own ideas. It allowed them to see the flaws in their positions a little more clearly.

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” — Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Italian painter, sculptor and inventor

Last week, during a discussion on business strategy, two of my clients really locked horns. They each took a position and dug in their heels. Eventually the conversation reached a standstill. To get them back on track I had them switch gears and play devil’s advocate – literally building a case against their own ideas. It allowed them to see the flaws in their positions a little more clearly. And gave them the necessary perspective to compromise on key points.

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Something to consider:

The person with the firmest grip on reality is the one who realizes that he DOESN’T have a firm grip on reality. That his opinions are limited to the world he’s seen. And that no matter who he is, that world is small. He stands by his opinions, but has no illusions that they’re “right”. His power comes from humility. And he’s always ready to change as he learns and grows.

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Something to try:

When you reach an impasse with someone:
1. Jot down your position clearly.
2. Take time alone to honestly answer the question – Where could I be wrong?
3. Use your answers as the fodder for a conversation with the other person.
4. Be willing to change your opinion if it’s warranted.

Question: What do you do when you reach an impasse with someone?

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