3 Ways to NOT Act Like Washington

If you are like most of us, Washington DC has a culture of divide and conquer which makes you angry.  As we see the petty antics performed by both sides of the aisle, we are reminded of how not to behave within a group.  If we are not careful, we will learn ways to divide and conquer within our organizations…and it will not lead to us getting reelected to another term, rather it will lead to us destroying the very organization we have worked so hard to build.


 So how do you avoid falling into the trap of Washington?

  1. Negotiate from a place of honesty – How many times have we heard an argument framed with two choices given?  The assertion is these are the only two choices to the identified problem.  If you chose one, Group A gets mad.  If you chose the other, Group B gets mad.  This tactic of limiting your options to solve problems is one which will stifle debate and creativity within your team.  All options, in whole and in part, should always be on the table.  This will enable the best solution to be chosen.
  2. Don’t assume people who normally disagree with you are always wrong – Politicians negotiate with each other from the standpoint of those who disagree with them are wrong.  We are continuing to attach labels to people, and draw conclusions about them from those labels.  It is impossible to forget about the past as you negotiate.  Each idea and thought should be entertained and considered, regardless of who suggests it.
  3. Communication is more than sound bites – In our media culture, those in Washington try to determine the best way to communicate their message through short snippets picked up by news media and blogs across the country.  This may be effective in the world of politics, but it is not effective in organizations.  The largest problem within any group is communication and it is the lifeblood of how organizations can move forward.

We do have some representing us that don’t play these games, and those are the ones we should learn from.

FEEDBACK:  What other lessons should we NOT apply from Washington?  Please comment below!


  1. […] 1. Be honest – Yes, I know it hurts, but it will lessen the punch to your gut later.  If your organization is not ready to move into a new product line, when would be the best time to determine this?  NOW would be good.  This was also something found in Ways to not act like Washington. […]

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