Pointless Debates

Pointless Debates

Ever feel like it’s “groundhog day” at work? No matter how many meetings you have on a specific subject, it seems like you end up arguing the same things over and over. It’s exhausting, counterproductive, and can lead to hard feelings.

There are many reasons why someone always engages. Most high achievers love a challenge and are tempted to weigh in on any and all decisions. If you’re in a collaborative culture, there is often a compulsion to speak to justify your presence on a team. Some people like to talk out their thinking in order to come to a conclusion. When you’re with them they seem to talk in circles, constantly evolving their conclusions. Others want a stage to increase their visibility or to pontificate on something that’s important to them. Some people actually want to help solve the problem!

If you’re the person who can’t help adding your two cents, selectively engaging will lead to better contributions, less time wasting, and a lot less frustrating environment. Remember that your habits are a big contributor to the perceptions people have of you. How many opportunities are you potentially missing out on because of your behavior?

If you’re the one with the project that everyone wants to debate about, try to ask very specific questions so that you get input without opening up a discussion that results in an unquestioned, unregulated time investment. If there’s a big team involved, make sure that everyone has an area that they’re responsible for so they can add value that is actually valuable. You control where you invest your energy. 

Some arguments are just not worth having.

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