Everything is Draft – Until it is Final (WT576)

Everything is Draft – Until it is Final (WT576)


WT 576 Everything is Draft Until it is Final

You know that I do a lot of systems and procedures work for clients.

One of my mantras is “Everything is draft – until it’s Final”.

I often say this to my clients because they can be reluctant to provide feedback if we haven’t quite gotten the procedure down pat.

I don’t take offence.

I prefer to get the procedures correct rather than having unhappy clients because they don’t speak up.

What I’ve found is that often we need to encourage people to speak up. Many won’t speak up because they are afraid of hurting our feelings.

Once I give people permission and even encouragement to speak up, I can see them visibly relax before they share the changes.

We can’t fix what we don’t know about.

What would you rather? Would you rather someone be polite to you and not tell you or would you rather them share what’s going on for them so you have a chance to resolve any issues?

This seems like such a minor concept; getting people to correct some procedures, however it leads to a much more critical and major concept and that is a concept known as “Group Think”.

MindTools.com describes Group Think as “a phenomenon that occurs when the desire for group consensus overrides people’s common sense desire to present alternatives, critique a position, or express an unpopular opinion. Here, the desire for group cohesion effectively drives out good decision-making and problem solving.”

One such example was the team of engineers working on the Challenger Space Shuttle. They knew that the O rings were faulty and yet said nothing because they didn’t want to delay the project or risk bad press. Unfortunately, we know how that ended.

If you’ve got something to say; if you have information to share, I encourage you to be courageous and share it. You might be surprised at the response you get. You might find that even though your message might not be exactly what people want to hear, they will respect you for speaking up and having the courage to get things changed.

Your challenge this week is to speak up. Go ahead, say what’s on your mind. Share what needs to be shared. Nothing can be improved or resolved if you don’t.

P.S. This month’s free online training is scheduled for Friday 16th July at 11:00am Sydney Time – Discover the Secrets to Finding, Hiring and Keeping the Right People. You can register here: https://shirleydalton.convertri.com/finding-hiring-keeping-the-right-people

P.P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.       

Should I Say Something? (WT556)

Should I Say Something? (WT556)



Should I Say Something? WT556

Sean had a dilemma. His teammates had confided in him.

They shared information with him that affected the business.

He didn’t know what to do.

“Shirl, I am in a real pickle here. I want to maintain confidentiality, but I feel really strongly about what they told me. I don’t know what to do. What would you do?”

Now anyone who has worked with me knows that it’s not for me to answer that question.

We know that the person with the problem is the best person to solve the problem.

The best way to help is to listen (actively) and to ask the questions that they need to hear, not questions to satisfy our curiosity.

“Why do you think they confided in you?” I asked.

“Well, they know I can keep stuff to myself.”

“Yes, why else did they tell you and not someone else?”

“Well, I don’t know that they haven’t told someone else.”

“Ok. Let’s look at it another way. Do you think they were venting, or do you think they told you because they wanted you to do something about it?”

“I think a bit of both. I think they needed to download and share and I also think they were wondering what they should do with the information.”

“So what they shared wasn’t necessarily about them, rather it was what someone else had shared with them?” I continued to clarify.

“Yes, I think so.”

“In essence, they were having the same conversation with you that we are having now?” I reflected back.

“Yes, I suppose they were. You know, I really don’t have to do anything with that information, other than have listened to them. They are the ones who need to take action to change it, if they want to.”

“That sounds like you’ve worked out what you want to do?” I reflected.

“Yes. Thanks so much for the advice. It was really helpful.”

That comment always intrigues me because I didn’t give any advice. I merely asked questions to help Sean clarify for himself what was going on. At the end of the conversation he decided what he wanted to do and in this case, he decided he didn’t need to do anything.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, where you’re not sure if you should speak up, you can coach yourself, by asking yourself some simple questions:

  1. What was the motivation for them sharing the information with me?
  2. Is this something that has the potential to harm others?
  3. Is this a legal issue, such as child protection information or a non-compliance behaviour etc.?
  4. What is to be gained by me breaking the confidentiality and sharing the information or what are the likely consequences?
  5. If I was to break confidentiality, who would need to know and what would their likely reaction be?
  6. And finally, what are my real reasons for wanting to say something?

It’s a tricky situation to be in and every situation is different. At the end of the day, only you can really decide whether you should say something.

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I Wish I Hadn’t Said Anything  (WT533)

I Wish I Hadn’t Said Anything (WT533)


WT533 I Wished I Hadn't Said Anything

How many times have you said that to yourself?

“I wish I hadn’t said anything.”

The other night Ross was watching some teenage boys who kept looking around to see if anyone was watching.

You know the look people get on their face when they know they are doing something wrong and they don’t want anyone to see.

I watched for a few minutes too. They were doing their best to break a pipe on the side of a community building opposite from where we were staying.

Knowing the story of Kitty Genovese, who was murdered in 1961 in New York and not one person even rang the Police to get help, even though there were hundreds of people who heard her screams. And knowing the psychology breakthroughs that the investigation inspired which led to what is known as “The Bystander Effect”, where you are better off if you find yourself in trouble to only have one other person around. They will most likely help you, whereas if there a number of people around, they will most likely stand back, thinking that someone else will help (and of course, nobody does).

And knowing the story of Victor Frankl whose family and himself were captured and put into Nazi prison camps and his words “Evil prospers when good men stand by and say nothing”, of course I poked my head out of the van and asked them, “What are you doing?”

They ignored me.

I was about to get on a call so I couldn’t follow it up but Ross did. He walked over to them, asked them what they were doing and was threatened by the older one “What are you coming over here for and getting in my face, do you want a punch in the “bcfing” head?”

They argued for a while. The teenager told Ross “it was public property and therefore he could do anything he liked to it”. The teenager continued working on extracting the pipe. Ross threatened to call the Police at which stage they ran off.

Then the doubt set in. “I wished I hadn’t said anything. What if they come back and slash the tyres? What if they bring their big brothers back? What if…. What if …..?”

For the rest of the night, I was uneasy. I wished I hadn’t said anything. I wished I had handled it differently and yet on a deeper level I knew better than to see something and ignore it.

What would you have done?

The question for all of us is, “Do you do the right thing or do you stand by and do nothing and let evil prosper?”

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