Dare to Disagree to Find the Right Solution

June 11, 2014 Katharina Lochner

Decision-making; Prove You Are Wrong and Be Sure You Are Right

When we supposedly found a solution to a problem, how can we be sure this is the one? You might find it surprising, but: actively seek disconfirmation and create conflict around your theories.

This is what entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan suggests to make sure you have a good solution to a problem. In her TED Talk she explains how not being able to prove that you are wrong can give you the confidence that you are right.

This is what she calls a constructive conflict. It requires that we find people who are very different from ourselves. We have to resist our drive to prefer people who are like ourselves and we have to seek out people with different backgrounds, ways of thinking and experience. It requires patience and energy. She applies this insight to companies and points out that we should not be afraid of conflict. We should dare to disagree so that we can be sure we are providing optimal solutions!

About the Author

Katharina Lochner

Dr Katharina Lochner is the former research director for the cut-e Group which was acquired by Aon in 2017. Katharina is now a researcher and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Iserlohn, Germany. In her role at cut-e, she applied the research in organizational and work psychology to real-world assessment practice. She has a strong expertise in the construction and evaluation of online psychometric tools.

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