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  • Toby Sinclair

Curated Insights | Friday 26th February 2021

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Happy Friday,

February was a fun month of creation and learning. I read 5 books, published 5 articles, created 5 videos, attended 1 training course and opened an Instagram account.

This week's insights include:

  • Good Conflict, Bad Conflict 🤬

  • How To Build A Listening Habit👂

  • Power of Consistency 📈

If you enjoy this edition, I'd love you to share it on Twitter.

With Gratitude,



Good Conflict, Bad Conflict 🤬

This week I finished Adam Grant's new book Think Again.

Adam shares that Good Thinking requires Rethinking which requires Conflict. Research shows that conflict can lead to high performing teams. Agreeable teams tend to create lower-quality solutions.

But did you know there are two types of conflict? One that is helpful. And one that can damage your team irreversibly.

When you think about conflict, you’re probably picturing relationship conflict—personal, emotional clashes that are filled not just with friction but also with animosity. This conflict is damaging to a team. Without the right leadership coaching, this conflict can go out of control. It can create irreversible damage to relationships.

There is another type of conflict, task conflict-clashes about ideas and opinions. This occurs when we’re debating whom to hire, how to build a feature and deciding on priorities.

High performing teams typically have low relationship conflict and keep it low throughout their work together.

When it comes to task conflict, high performing teams generally have this from the outset. They openly challenge each other's opinions and ideas only converging at the last responsible moment. This avoids premature convergence which is essential when dealing with complex problems.

A meta-analysis of studies showed that relationship conflict is generally bad for performance, but some task conflict can be beneficial: it’s been linked to higher creativity and smarter choices.

Coaching can help you harness the power of task conflict. It's a common misconception that coaching is just a cosy chat. Skilled coaches often bring a high degree of challenge. Asking questions that help people identify blindspots and explore new perspectives. It helps to activate rethinking cycles by pushing us to be humble about our expertise, doubt our knowledge, and be curious about new perspectives.

💡The insight for you:

Minimize relationship conflict and maximise task conflict.


How To Build A Listening Habit👂

In this video, I'll connect you with the lost art of listening. So that you can lead your team better.

The key to good active listening is to build a listening habit.

This happens by making listening obvious, attractive, easy and satisfying.

I share a few things I've learned to listen better and how I've built a listening habit.

To help Product and Tech develop better people I created Switch.

Within just 5 days you'll learn practical coaching skills to lead, empower and inspire your teams.


Power of Consistency 📈

Image by @VisualizeValue

This is the 10th edition of Curated Insights.

I've learned so much about curating and writing a valuable newsletter.

In particular, how making a commitment to publish every Friday keeps me accountable.

Some weeks I'm super motivated and others life is hard. With a weekly commitment, it keeps me delivering.

Your feedback has been hugely helpful in making this newsletter valuable. This week a reader shared with me:

"I have usually an allergy against newsletters, and there are not a lot of them that succeed into my Inbox."

I'd love to hear your feedback too.

Reply to this email: What can I do to keep this newsletter valuable for you?


Quote of the week

"If you look at its branches, you swear it will fall. But if you watch the trunk, you will see its stability."

- The Revenant


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