How To Drive Decisions by Listening

Jim Woods spiritual coaching

Getting to buy-in on your decisions isn’t the same as motivating or shall we say compelling your employees to execute. One of the ways to do this is to help them see it is in their best interest to do so. This can take two forms: fear and pleasure. Both are persuasive. But, I’m going to encourage you to exert leadership by emphasizing “pleasure.” There is a plethora of evidence to support the advantages of reward based leadership. Now, while this article is on decision making remember people are human beings, I know that should be obvious, however, recognize they have fears which restrain them from executing on decisions they have agreed upon. They may not like you, their employees, afraid of losing control, losing their job etc.

Here’s a more effective way to make decisions and get people to support their implementation: Be quiet.

Know Your Destination

Heading into your meeting, be clear about the desired outcome. Are you there to secure overarching support for your recommendation? Or are you simply looking to sell a few key stakeholders? Are you seeking approval for a pilot? A full roll-out? By being explicit about the meeting’s objectives, you’ll increase the likelihood of achieving them.

Kick off the meeting by clearing stating the objective in an affirmative way: “We’re here to approve the full roll out of the new compensation plan.” In other words, point everyone in the right direction — forward.

Know When to Ride…

Set the destination, provide a not-too-granular overview, and then say this: “Based on the background I’ve just provided, I’d like to hear perspectives from the group on the subject of moving forward with rolling out the idea.” At that point, shut up; let the conversation happen and watch where it goes.

As people discuss the idea, they’ll offer pros and cons. They’ll add new ideas and information to the conversation. They’ll influence one another without you saying a word. While the discussion might not proceed at a brisk pace, letting participants debate without pressure lets them to work through their objections naturally. […]

Read full article Drive Decisions Without Saying a Word: Leading by Listening |

Jim Woods is president of InnoThink Group and Leadership Matters. He has consulted and coached firms for more than 25 years. InnoThink Group is a global management consulting firm that works with leaders to transform strategy into reality. To arrange for Jim to come to your organization and help you develop talent, organize people to be more effective and motivate them to perform at their best select this link. Our focus is on making change happen and helping people and organizations realize their potential.

See a partial list of Jim’s clients. Hire Jim Woods to Speak  | Follow us: Facebook | Follow us: Twitter | Skype ID – jim.woods79

Jim Woods | Business Coaching | Executive Coaching| Leadership Development | Organizational Development |


Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website

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