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Leadership – From a Team

Every once in awhile, I’ll be working on a project that seems “out of whack”. It seems difficult – i.e., not enough participation or edgy questions that silence the room. Hearing “crickets”  (=no response)  always makes me wonder if people care or are paying attention. Making decisions by myself while on a team goes against my collaborative nature and ensures a lousy result.

This article was initially about kids naming their T-Ball team, but if applies so well to life as a project manager:

  • The executive makes a recommendation, and someone proposes an alternative that seems both surprising and random/out of context … yet, that’s the decision the group enacts upon because no one wants to ruffle feathers.
  • The group on the receiving end of the choice is hesitant to provide input or criticism because they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, so they go along to get along.
  • Others outside of the group taunt the decision-makers for the “perceived” less-than-best choice (and propose alternatives that they would have selected IF they had a seat at the table).

As leaders, one of the most important things we do is make decisions. While not every decision we make requires collaboration, here are a few things to keep in mind for the ones that do:

  • Invite multiple opinions to the dialogue – encourage the quieter voices, too, to share their perspective. If you’re not hearing enough ideas, ask people if they need more time to consider alternatives.
  • Encourage respectful debate before a decision is made, which will help get all the ideas out there before a choice is settled on.
  • Don’t be defensive of your idea – and encourage others to divorce themselves emotionally from their recommendation. Collaboration isn’t about who’s right or wrong – it’s about making the best call.

This excerpt is from LEAD STAR:  “We have a whole chapter in SPARK related to decision-making – and how to take action on ideas that matter to you most. Curious? Learn more by visiting www.sparkslead.us.”

This group provides leadership contracting and more – They are also the authors of a book: SPARK, Howe to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success.  I recommend the book and the newsletter.  ~ the editor

Lead Star • PO Box 328 Fairfax VA 22308 • 800-381-7780 • leadstar.us  Click here to subscribe to a great newsletter with leadership articles.

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