Get Team Help to solve Difficult Problems

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Leadership Tip of Week # 81

adapted from HBR

If you and your team are facing a chronic challenge, you might be tempted to take control and vehemently argue for the solution you think will work, or to offer ideas indirectly and let your team take ownership of the issue.

Neither of these extremes is optimal.

Instead, try an approach that combines conviction and openness — that way others can come up with solutions that build on your best thinking.

  1. With your team, talk about the persistence of the issue, what solutions have failed, and why.
  2. Explain that you want them to choose the solution with you.
  3. Make it clear that you are looking for new ideas, not a defense of failed solutions or rehashed versions of what you’ve already tried.
  4. Build a set of measurable criteria with which you can evaluate options.
  5. Admit any biases you have for particular solutions, and ask the team to treat those ideas no differently than their own.
  6. Rate all ideas, including yours, against the established criteria
  7. Most important, be open about the assumptions underlying your views.

Adapted from “Stress Leads to Bad Decisions. Here’s How to Avoid Them,” by Ron Carucci

Author: Andrew Mann

Managing Partner at NorthBailey. Having had senior marketing & insight roles at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Coop and M&S, I'm now using my experience & network to solve strategic marketing problems for NorthBailey clients

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