Hero image by Desiray Green on Unsplash

I was recently part of a brainstorming session at work. We planned the session to think of new features in our application. We discussed many ideas, and naturally, I agreed and disagreed with a few of them. And I presented both of them to the team.

When the meeting came to an end, we decided on some action items. It also had a few ideas I disagreed with, and I couldn't understand why we chose to go with them. But the meeting was already over, so I didn't raise any other questions and went along with it.

I decided to discuss this on a 1:1 with my mentor(He was also a part of the call). I explained to him my thought process and why I disagreed with those ideas. He asked me to look at the big picture and told me about a principle called "Stand up, disagree and commit".

The instance he told me about it, I had one of those "aha!" moments. It is a fundamental team building principle. It can be hard to practice for some(especially if they hold strong opinions tightly bound). But if you can follow it, then it can work as solid glue for the organisation.

I will illustrate this principle using the same example my mentor used.

Think about when you were part of a sports team as a kid or anytime in life(Or just remember the game you have watched). Often you would feel that a person X should be in a position Y on the field because you think that person's skills are suited for that position. However, the captain doesn't agree with you, and he wants to place some other player on position Y. You both spend some time to discuss this, but in the end, the captain takes the call to go with his approach.

After that point, as a team player, you need to forget about your disagreement, commit to giving your best.

“Stand up, disagree and commit” means you are allowed to disagree while making a decision, but once taken, everybody must commit to it.

I will conclude by saying that someone can apply this principle not just in an organisation, but also in other areas of life, like personal relationships, sports etc.