Essential Discussions

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

The world of work will continue to evolve in the months ahead. As you evaluate how best to shift your business from protection mode back to proactive mode, there will be an abundance of opinion within the organization about the most effective way forward. 

Dialogue, often emotional, about the pros and cons of alternatives, and their projected impact on results, will increase. Many of these discussions will be critical, risky, political deliberations that result in decisions with far-reaching implications for the sustainability of your business. 

It’s a time when the actions taken from these decisions will disproportionally affect your company and your relationships. 

It’s a time when policies, procedures and values will be challenged as you consider how your business model may have changed, affecting the way you make a difference and create strategic value. 

It’s a time when your ability to manage your team’s emerging differences, and arrive at a shared commitment, will be tested. 

As these essential discussions develop, appreciate their potential to bond your team, strengthening their ability to think strategically, to collaborate cross-functionally and to drive change

Resist the impulse to prematurely exert your influence or argue your view on pending decisions. Instead, seek to extend dialogue by asking questions, soliciting opinions and discussing reasonable ideas to ensure that contrasting positions are fully explored; the objective is to learn rather than convince all that your preferred option is the best one. 

Identify areas of agreement and focus on understanding the “why” behind the differing opinions, keeping the dialogue safe and comfortable so every voice may be heard and alternatives may be fully vetted. 

The objective is to efficiently explore ideas, resolve differences and secure team commitment and shared responsibility for the decisions and actions necessary to progress and deliver results. 

Key questions like these should be on the table: 

How can you create value for your customers 
through this transition?

What operating changes are necessary to ensure that 
you deliver on any new promises being made?

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