The personal website of Chris Coyier

Arguing

I’m with Olivia Wilde, no assholes:

She says she got advice once about directing once that was like: “the way to get respect on a set is to have three big arguments a day. Big ones that re-instate your power and remind everyone who is in charge. Be the predator.” And she says “that’s the opposite of her process and wants none of that.”

That’s me. I want none of that.

And yet at the same time, I feel I’m conflict-averse to a fault. While I think it’s generally a benefit to my life (I’m ZERO percent productive when I’m mad and arguing and for hours afterward), I also think there is a way to argue without the negativity. A middle ground that isn’t avoiding feelings for the sake of agreeableness.

This episode that just dropped of Hidden Brain is extremely on point here: The Easiest Person to Fool. There are dozens of fascinating things in here, but here’s one. Adam Grant, the guest, talks about The Wright Brothers. They accomplished tons of things together and apparently argued just constantly. But they argued in this spirited-but-respectful way. Adam said going back in time to listen to them argue would be very high on his go-back-in-time-to-witness list. Someone who worked with them said:

They never got angry, but they sure got hot.

Even though it’s not me, I buy into the idea that someone who isn’t particularly agreeable all the time, and argues (without the anger), makes a better leader than someone who is agreeable-at-all-costs.