When You Announce a Pregnancy, Don’t Request Feedback

by Linda Henman, Ph.D.

pregnant PMPRecently a client explained the changes he wants to make in his organization. He’s the owner and CEO, so he holds absolute sway over these kinds of decisions.

But then he said he wanted to call a meeting to announce the changes and ask if anyone has feedback. I asked one question, “What could they possibly say that would cause you to change your mind? He said, “Nothing.”

Then don’t call a meeting! If you ask people for their opinions, they perceive they will be able to influence the outcome. When they find out they won’t, they bristle.

On the other hand, if you announce a decision you’ve made, they may not like it, and they may think you should have asked their opinion, but ultimately, they will comply. And good order and discipline will follow.

The business owner in question said he wanted to have the meeting to get buy-in on the decision. That’s a little akin to saying I want to lose weight by watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. One has nothing to do with the other. He really wanted to “sell” the idea, but that doesn’t usually bring buy-in, unless people had a chance to influence the outcome to start with.

There’s nothing wrong with leaders making solo decisions. In fact, successful leaders do this all the time. A willingness to make the tough calls separates leaders who can lead during adversity from those who cannot.

Highly productive companies don’t spring forth with no discernible cause /effect. Those that lead their industries have strong leaders who lead their companies.

If your goal is to be prom queen, disregard the aforementioned.

If you found these tips from Linda Henman, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at PDUs2Go.com.

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