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Pay attention to how you sound in response to being questioned or contradicted. If your people get the slightest whiff that agreement is what you prefer, that’s what you’ll get.

To fight that possibility:

  • In one-to-one meetings, ask direct reports for extra-candid feedback on how you respond to disagreement.
  • If they say you send mixed signals, ask what you can do to increase your openness to debate.
  • If you notice that particular staffers tend to avoid inserting themselves in the discussion, coach them to be bolder.

— Adapted from “Monday LeaderTip: Permission to Disagree,” David Peck, The Recovering Leader, www.leadershipunleashed.com.

Note: For more tips, read our free report, Office Communication Toolkit: 10 Tips for Managers.  

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