Ep131: All Sides of the Decision

25 minutes

In this special by-listener-request episode, we talk about the importance of helping your team understand your decisions, and the even greater importance of setting up a joke before delivering the punchline. 

Why is that important for business? 

When you have to make a decision, you go through a whole process to get to an end point. But often in leadership, you only communicate the decision, not the process. That means that people who have no connection or insights into how you arrived where you did have to understand the decision out of context. It’s like walking into a room and telling the punchline to a joke without the setup. Dropping a pronouncement on people that haven’t had the benefit of seeing the entire path that took you there often makes it hard to understand and accept. They needed a line of sight to how you got there. 

What would change in people’s reactions if they could see all of the things that you are seeing from your vantage point as leader?

Of course, even if they had all of the information, they might come to a different conclusion, but they will at least better appreciate how you got there. It helps make decisions feel less arbitrary and capricious.

If you are frustrated that your people don’t get XYZ, make sure they have a clear line of sight to how you arrived at XYZ.

Of course, you can’t always include everyone in all decision-making processes. But as early as you can, bring them in. Don’t cheat your people out of the benefit of understanding leadership decisions and conversations. Looping them in will not only help with buy-in, but it’s also a great opportunity to mentor them to be better leaders. Leadership means making unpleasant choices; the earlier you can give people line of sight to that, the better. 

Having your people involved in solving problems and making choices helps everything run more smoothly, and it also might give you the benefit of some ideas you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. And at the very least, it helps to stand at the bottom of a hill with people you trust (do you get that reference? If not, listen here: https://soheresmystory.com/ep128-how-to-make-everything-easier/)

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