Where to Agree

Sometimes, when you work with groups of people, you have to agree to work together, and that can be hard. There are bossy people, people that don’t want to be in the group, or maybe they only want to stay in the group of their friends that they are in already. It’s hard to get work done when so many want such different things! And if someone wants to boss the group, take it over and make them do what he wants, things can get impossible. What to do? You have to work together to finish the project, but you cannot do anything when everyone is fighting about it.

First of all, you need to find ways to agree on something, and sometimes that takes quick thinking. Sometimes, men who might argue a lot make peace with each other by saying something very different than the project at hand, such as, “Hey, wasn’t the Super Bowl something this year?” Or maybe, “Man, that last snowstorm about buried me!” And then, if this person is very smart with his emotions, he will ask, “What did you think of it?” and then listen. He will not correct the other person, or say his house was deeper under the snow than anyone else’s: he will instead to everything to find out where he and the other person can agree on something. When he and the other person agree on something, then others feel they can agree too.

But there are times when what you are working on matters so much, and everyone is so different, that you have to find something larger than who won the Super Bowl. Can you all agree that this project in front of you is difficult? Can you all agree that no one really wants to be here, that everyone would rather be at home doing something fun? Or can you all agree that, if this project doesn’t work, that things would be harder? Look for the widest thing you can think of: look for the place where you can all agree. That starts the work much more easily.

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