What got me thinking about this subject was hearing Tony Blair talking about the death of Margaret Thatcher on the radio and his words were
“When you have to decide you are going to divide”
I interpreted this to mean that when you are the one chosen to make the final decision on a subject then you cannot hope to always please all of your work team or family members.
I would agree with this sentiment but I would have to say that although total agreement at all times is unlikely a genuine attempt to understand others point of view will help you in the making of the decision. It also makes the final decision a subject of knowledge sharing and discussion something they are familiar with rather than a surprise to some of the parties involved.
I have found on many occasions that including them in the discussion can help them see the impossible task in hand. They often recognise that some decision has to be made even if it is not one they 100% agree with.
This is a great sentiment but how do you restrain your self from “just doing it” and making the decision?
What kind of system can you use to stop and listen and ask some questions which allow the other parties to be heard and understood and be part of the contribution of information that will inform the decision making process?
I have worked with many small business owners who are afraid to ask the question “What would you like to have happen?”of their teams for fear they are not prepared to deliver what they ask for. For example what if they said “I want a pay rise” or “I want to change roles”
The challenge with open questions is you never know what they will say and the assumption is that you will have to deliver.
What if someone did ask for a pay rise and you assumed they would discover a way to make that happen then what happens?
Isn’t it logical to pay someone more you will need to earn more or reduce other expenses. What if you asked them how that could be achieved. All too often we and I include myself in that statement we think we have to listen to all the problems and the solve them.
What if you could listen and they solved them and your overall responsibility was to ensure all the pieces fitted together or to recognise which pieces are missing?
The Step by Step Listening model is simple and easy to adopt and it allows you to develop solutions to communication dilemmas like this. To find out more do join us on our next Introductory call.
Thanks for Listening
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