I’d Like Your Feedback…Yeah Right!

I bet you have been in this situation. Here’s my brief story.

Several years ago my peers and I were invited to a strategy meeting by our manager. Lenny (not his real name), wanted our feedback regarding a pricing methodology change. He said “I like your input about…”

As the conversation starts and individuals start sharing their thoughts and ideas, Lenny starts explaining them all away. Thirty minutes into it, it became an argument about convincing of our point of view and how his idea wasn’t going to work well in our current system. Forty five minutes later, Lenny decides to ignore everything we said, and implement his idea anyway.

What was the point of asking for our input if Lenny had already decided before the meeting started that we were going to implement his idea, regardless?

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Lenny made the mistake many people in leadership position make…to ask others to convince him that there’s a better idea out there.

The key word is convince. This approach implies you already made a decision and creates a combative environment.

It pretty much is a way to pretend I want to involve the team in the decision but I don’t really mean it.

To this day, I still get angry when I recall that event and the amount of time and saliva I wasted thinking I was contributing to the solution.

The lesson is simple: don’t bother asking for feedback if you are going to be expecting people to convince you there’s something wrong in your thinking.

 

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