I am on the board of a local non-profit; recently the board met to discuss a sensitive topic. A topic that had been danced around for years. Whenever it had been brought up strong emotional outburst accompanied it and the issue was kicked down the road for the next years board to figure out. The new leader this year understood the important link the issue had to the survival of the organization and tackled it head-on. The board unanimously came to an agreement with no emotional flares and no fighting. Just some good natured discussion.
As I drove home I pondered how this particular leader was able to resolve such a contentious issue so quickly and easily when nobody else had been able to in the last four years I had been on the board and came up with the following:
- Came prepared with cold hard facts– This step removed the emotional element that caused fighting in the first place.
- Showed why it was necessary to resolve now and not kick further down the road– Put the team on the hook to provide a resolution.
- Provided a strong why– This inspired the team to want to come up with their own solution that they felt good about.
- Gave a starting framework for the discussion– Gave infinite freedom within definite bounds.
- Laid out his idea for resolution– Provided a starting point for the discussion. He also purposefully provided a solution more extreme than needed knowing that some team members would want to scale it back and “compromise” on a moderate solution.
- Allowed the team to discuss within his framework and define a new solution– This really allowed the team to come together as a single mind (a mastermind) and create a stellar solution.
- Summed it up and put out the final resolution– Based on the team’s feedback, he distilled down the resolution (which came very close to his!) and set the new course.
How can you integrate the “why” into your situation to get a resolution?