Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Picking a fight!

NO. I dont mean physical fight! I am referring to constructive arguments with people. Acc. to me , one of the best way to innovate and improve ones knowledge level is to engage in healthy fights between co-workers,college mates and friends. I can tell you numerous instances from my own life where I had fighted with friends over things which looked ‘silly’ for some others. But those are the moments which created sparks of ideas in my mind. My fights with one of my best friend Tarun which usually lasts for hours over phone and it mostly ends up in some new idea which we both never thought of before. Our paper presentation topic which fetched us plenty of cash prizes & certificates was the result of one such fight!
The urge to prove one’s idea superior to others will motivate you to analyze the situation much better than before, and even If at the end you lose, dont worry: you learned a lot more than you would have learned had you not fighted !
From my experience the following must be noted while ‘picking a fight’.
1) Be careful not to take the fights personal. One of my senior manager commented about his experience in Infosys “ this is the place where I can fight and argue with even my boss without the fear of red ink in my employement records and without affecting the personal relationship with my boss”. Never be afraid to ask questions with colleagues even to your boss. Only thing is, be careful not to take things personally. Like Michale Corleone says ’its not personal Sunny, Its strictly business’
2) Make sure you supply justification to your arguments. After all, we are not politicians. You should also help your opponent in finding out justification for their ideas. In this process you will not only understand you opponents stand much better, but also you will be able to provide better justification to you own arguments! Paraphrase your friends’ view just to make sure you understand their stand thoroughly.
3) Make sure you are going in right direction. Sometime in the spirit of fighting, we may deviate from our topic which results in unproductive fights. At frequent intervals, ask yourself the question “are we going in right path?”
4) Never be afraid to involve a third person if you think your fight is not finding an end in a reasonable amount of time.
5) And finally, never forget to appreciate you opponent for their efforts.

(I once had a beautiful experience in one of my project, where me and other 2 team mates had long productive fights over detailed designs. Each of us came up with our own ideas, but we fought over it for a good amount of time, until we found out new ways of doing things which none of us never thought about before!! Its really a good thing to work with team members with such fighting spirit.)
What are you waiting folks? Go and pick a fight!