Friday, 27 March 2015

Don't Be Defensive

This is another anti-ego post.

It’s easy when you’re throwing ideas around to become fixated on your own positions and thoughts at the expense of everyone else’s. This is true whether it’s for a pitch or a campaign execution, or whether you get Nandos or KFC for lunch.

(For the record, the correct answer is of course Nandos.)

The point is, if you argue your point, and you’re still out-voted, you have to be able to accept it. Even if you’re the boss – one of the best skills in leadership is knowing how and when to give way, even to subordinates.

And sometimes it isn’t even about outright rejection of your ideas. It can simply be becoming defensive when your ideas are questioned or challenged or tweaked. You can’t defend your original vision to the death.

The most important thing in all this is to remember that your colleagues are competent. Sounds obvious, but in the heat of the moment it’s easy to unconsciously behave as though you’re the only person capable of good ideas. Which isn’t generally a popular or safe opinion to express.

And with that established, you have to then understand that if your ideas aren’t the ones that win out in a discussion, there are two options: First, that you need to step back and work out how to express your ideas in a better, more engaging way, or second, that maybe, just maybe, your ideas weren’t all that effective in the first place. And that perhaps it’s just possible that you only believe that they are great ideas because they are your ideas.

Food for thought.

Although for the record all my ideas are the best ideas.

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