Why it's not enough to be right

29.08.2012

I know it’s the right thing to do.  So let’s do it! How often have you been certain of the right course of action, revealed your plan to your colleagues and been amazed that they didn’t immediately start doing what you suggested? It’s happened to me. More than once.

If you’re like me, you might have been a bit annoyed that they couldn’t see straight away that you were right. You might have been tempted to try and railroad them.

And if you’re like me you’ll have realised that ‘the Right Thing’ is entirely subjective. Just because you or I think this is the Right Thing, doesn’t mean that everyone will agree. Or at least, not at first.

You see, being right isn’t enough. We have to also be able to persuade other people that we’re right.

And how do you do that?

There is a presupposition of NLP that tells us that ‘people always make the best choice based on the information available’. So to enable other people to see how right your plan is, you have to give them access to the same information as you.

To put it simply, you have to manage the available information so that whoever looks at it, the best choice indicated by the facts, is the one you thought of!

You might not be totally comfortable with that. It can seem manipulative – if that’s all you do.

So here’s the beauty of this approach: if you are prepared to line up all of your information that points in the direction of your view of the Right Thing, you can also invite your colleagues to add to that information. They can contribute what they know, what they believe and what they think.

Then, you make a collective decision based on ALL the data, not just one person’s. This way, you avoid arguments, you’re not manipulating anyone and the decisions made are the result of real collaboration.

Provided you’re willing to adjust your point of view, this is a great way to persuade people to a joint decision.



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