Constructive Debate: Building Better Ideas

Barnes & Conti Associates, Inc.
Training overview
1-2 days
Corporate / Group Training
Next start date: Inquire for information - Online
Start dates
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Course description

Constructive Debate: Building Agreements that Work, 1-2 Day Workshop

It is far too common in teams and organizations that new ideas and unusual solutions are ignored, suppressed, or even attacked. Rather than encourage, listen to and build on out-of-the-norm Ideas, the organization’s culture may cause potentially great but “political incorrect” suggestions to be held back. Many departments have the tendency to defend their turf and choose the safer solution over the better one. They need to eliminate conditions that can prevent interesting new ideas from getting a hearing and allow the implementation of mediocre ones instead.

To be successful in a fast-changing world, organizations must understand the value of creative thinking and be able to tolerate and even support differences in experience and thinking style. They need their employees to develop communication skills that foster innovation. To this end, Barnes & Conti Associates created the Constructive Debate™ program to help leaders and key individual contributors learn how to establish conditions that foster creative thinking, openness to new ideas, and a willingness to examine and challenge assumptions. In this program, leaders learn how to develop an open climate that promotes diverse teams and enables the building of better ideas. They develop communications skills to express ideas and engage others clearly and directly, build on others’ ideas, offer a constructive, non-defensive response to others’ challenges, and use additional processes and tools that support constructive debate.

Constructive Debate: Building Better Ideas is available virtually as one of our “Learning Journeys." Fill out the information request form to learn more.

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Who should attend?

This course is intended for:

  • Leaders
  • Managers
  • Team members
  • Individual contributors
  • Anyone whose ideas have an impact on the organization’s ability to innovate and compete.

Training content

Overview and Positioning:

  • Discussion of organizational climate and needs
  • Introduction to key definitions and concepts

Conditions for Constructive Debate:

  • Benchmark exercise
  • Review of requirements for successful and constructive debate

Skill Practice: Expressing and Engaging:

  • Active practice in the skills of dialogue

The Art of Dialogue:

  • Summary of dialogue skills
  • Transition to debate

Skill Practice: Exploring and Challenging:

  • Active practice in the skills of dialogue and debate

Introduction to Process Tools:

  • Review of process tools that support constructive debate

Planning for Constructive Debate:

  • Introduction of Planning Tools
  • Application to a specific upcoming opportunity

Conducting a Constructive Debate:

  • Practice and feedback in conducting a constructive debate

Next Steps and Commitments:

  • Review of key learnings and follow-up planning

Course delivery details

This workshop can be delivered either in a traditional classroom setting, typically over one or two days for up to 24 participants, or as an interactive Virtual Learning Journey over the course of two or three 2.5 hour sessions. Both include prework, live sessions with skill practice, discussion and feedback, fieldwork and resources for continuous learning and reinforcement.  The Learning Journey can be customized to meet the needs and business objectives of your organization.


Contact Barnes & Conti for information on price

Certification / Credits

You will learn communications skills, primarily how to express your ideas and engage others clearly and directly, develop skills for constructive discussion and debate in your organization, offer a constructive, non-defensive response to others’ challenges, and use processes and tools that support constructive debate.

About Barnes & Conti

Bring Over 30 Years of Expertise to Your Organization with Barnes & Conti Associates

Barnes & Conti  Associates believe that a great idea can change the world. That’s why they have spent over 30 years training people in how to have their ideas heard and implemented. They are an organization that excels in leadership...

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