Teams can get stuck in conversations where they are exploring ideas. Sometimes that becomes an unhelpful debate, the mood can feel confrontational, or people are just repeating themselves.
When this happens you should ask the group whether they are having, or want to have, a positional or a generative conversation. Knowing which conversation you want to have will help you move forward.
Increase your awareness of what’s happening in the conversational dynamic.
Develop your ability to have more productive conversations when exploring ideas.
A positional conversation is where you have made your mind up and have a position that you are going to defend.
A generative conversation is where you probably still have an opinion, but you are willing to let that go as ‘the right answer’ to see what emerges from the group discussion.
Both are needed as ideas are explored and developed.
You need to be positional at times so that you are able to make a decision.
You need to be generative at times so you can tap into the collective synergy of the team (or all you do is become a collection of individuals with one answer each).
What’s important is knowing what type of conversation you are having and which one you want to have going forward.