Better be quiet and wait!

‘The man rejoices at the answer of his mouth; and the word in its season, How good it is. ‘

Disagreements are a natural part of working together, and different points of view are crucial to creativity and problem-solving processes. However, friction arising when different opinions arise can cause unnecessary pain and valuable loss of time and energy.

Sometimes, the best way to convince someone to your point of view, while keeping the lines of communication open, is with simple silence and begin to plaster.

Benjamin Franklin learned that sowing plaster (lime) in their wheat fields would increase the crops.  He told his neighbours, but they argued, saying that plaster could be of no use to grass or grain.

Franklin let the matter drop, but next spring, when the grain was sown, close to the path where men walked past, he traced letters into the soil and sprinkled plaster in them.

After a few weeks, the men were surprised to see, as they walked by, some of the wheat was brighter green and standing taller than the rest. As they looked, they were able to see the green wheat formed the words “THIS HAS BEEN PLASTERED”.

The answer to some disagreements may be to stop talking and test together several solutions, measure them and compare them with the rules, and then summarize the selection process. Meanwhile, temperaments cool down, objectivity comes back and new options can emerge.

 

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