Often my Western colleagues would complain, “the team here can’t interview!”
“No it’s not the language. They simply don’t think clearly!” They elaborated.
The conformist (or Asian-ness?) in us has a lot to do with this.
We conform. We listen to directions.
We understand that we don’t always need to understand everything. We accept that we don’t have to wholeheartedly believe in the directions we follow.
We are not expected to express, debate, and negotiate. We don’t need to. We don’t have to.
As a result we don’t get to practice in expressing, debating, and negotiating.
As a result we become rusty in expressing, debating, negotiating, AND our ability to think clearly.
Because of conformity, we don’t get to practice thinking.
This does not mean that we don’t have thoughts. Or opinions, or ideas, or hopes and dreams and fears.
They are here, just scattered, disorganised, unarticulated.
If you are a leader who wants to extract the best ideas from your team, including those conformists in your teams, here is a technique stolen world-class debaters you should take a look at:
The Steel Man Technique- the ability to build the best form of the other side’s ideas and then engaging with it.
Dive in, and #bossbetter