One lesson I learned is from a phrase I picked up called M.R.I. It means the “most respectful interpretation” of what someone’s saying to you. I don’t need everyone to be best friends, but I need to have a team with M.R.I.
Q. Can you elaborate?
A. You can say anything to anyone, as long as you say it the right way.
Maybe you need to preface it with: “I’m just curious, and I want to understand what you’re saying better. Right now, my point of view is quite different. So can you help me understand why you don’t want to do this, or why you wanted to do this?”
If you get people talking and challenging each other, you’re going to have the ability to arrive at the right decision so much quicker and so much easier. I just make it so it’s a human environment. I’m not going to motivate by fear, but I’m going to motivate by saying: “Let’s win. This is going to be so much fun to figure out. Let’s figure it out together.” I guess my management style is very much about like imagining we’re all children and really vulnerable. Because we are.
Here's a powerful concept for communication introduced by Robin Domeniconi at the New York Times, Most Respectful Interpretation. Maybe the name is what captures my attention because I've been through more MRIs than I care to admit; more likely it's because you can see in it such a refreshing perspective on the current discussion of civility in polltics.