We choose friends who agree with us. We live in neighborhoods that look increasingly similar. Our Facebook, Twitter, and web forum feeds are filled with thoughts with which we agree entirely.
Don’t agree once? Minor annoyance.
Disagree twice? Unfollow. The daring even “unfriend.”
The internet makes it easy. We create microcosms of similar thought. Some of us do not even know a person who voted for the other party in the last election.
And it’s nice. Everyone we know agrees with us.
But disagreement is essential to growth, to learning, and to development.
EHS professionals must disagree. Entrepreneurs must disagree. Managers who want to make a difference (an awfully low percentage) must disagree.
The cure? Build confidants who offer diverse perspectives. Hire highly qualified applicants with experience and education different from yours. Pick up a book offering an opposite perspective on a topic you care deeply about. Seek alternate opinions to your current way of thinking.
Does it work? Recently I read a book, suggested by a colleague with whom I disagree enough to make it interesting, and it changed my mind. I wrote about it here.