By Lonnie Pacelli
Some time back one of my managers sent out an email announcing that we had just won an account. This was a very big deal for us as our product was new to the marketplace and we were working hard to gain acceptance with customers. Several of us responded to the email expressing our excitement over the new account. One of my managers responded with “I’ve got concerns” and listed off a series of issues with servicing the account. All of the issues that the manager brought up were valid issues; the problem is that I didn’t know who was expected to do what regarding the issues.
I asked the manager that raised the issues to get in a room with a couple of other managers and put some resolution to the issues. Fortunately, there was no friction in the request and the managers got to work to outline each issue and put forth a suggested approach for how to deal with the issue. About an hour later the team of managers responded with a solid approach that would be taken which worked for everyone and addressed all of the concerns raised.
We’ve all experienced the person who had no problem at all saying “I’ve got concerns” to just about anything but offered nothing constructive in terms of suggested resolutions. The culprit wants to be the one to raise the issue and wants someone else to take ownership to resolve the problem. That dog don’t hunt with me.
When situations like this happen with me, I like to have the one that raises the issue get with a small subset of interested parties to come up with a resolution to the issue, and hold the person who raised the issue accountable for reporting back to the rest of the team as to the resolution. What I’ve found in doing this is that the quality of the solution is much better than a solution that any one person could have come up with because the interested stakeholders have all put their thumb-print on the resolution.
Next time one of your team members raises an issue, consider putting the issue back to a few of your team members, asking the person who raised the issue to drive resolution to the issue, and reporting back to the team the proposed resolution. You’ll get a better quality resolution and you’ll reduce churn with the team.
Lonnie Pacelli is an accomplished author and autism advocate with over 30 years experience in leadership and project management at Accenture, Microsoft, and Consetta Group. See books, articles, keynotes, and self-study seminars at http://www.lonniepacelli.com