Many organizations are filled with ‘yes’ people. No matter what the leader says, the people around the table nod their heads in agreement.
These same head nodders will walk out of the meeting room and share with each other why something won’t work or how the boss made a bad decision. These ‘meetings after the meeting’ are extremely damaging and all too common.
If an opposing opinion exists, and they often do, the leader needs to create a culture where the challenge is communicated in (not after) the meeting.
The key to making this happen is the tone the leader sets. If you’re the leader, be authentic. If you don’t have the answer, say you don’t have it. Be willing to ask for input, take ideas under consideration, weigh alternatives, and then make an informed decision.
Solicit and encourage opposing viewpoints.
The reality is that if everyone agrees with everything you say, they are either lying to you, or you have the wrong people in the room.
Patrick Leddin, PhD is a speaker, global leadership consultant, and The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge. Patrick is an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University with a thriving leadership blog and podcast, and 25-years of leadership experience. He offers an unparalleled mix of academic rigor and real-world experience.