Have you ever been at an impasse over an idea or concept with someone on your team—or even your boss? These kinds of conflicts can jam up workflow and slow productivity.
We were just working with a client that brought this very situation to us. He said, “Mark, we are about three months into this one-year project and I feel like I am at an impasse with this person. How do we break it open?”
We shared our two key steps to get past the impasse and get the flow going again. They went on to implement these steps, go the project back on track and delivered the needed business results:
- Revisit The Purpose. Our client went back and revisited the purpose of the project. He asked, “So why are we doing what we are doing, and what are we really trying to accomplish?” Both team members should agree on the purpose of the project. If that is not the case, you may need to reaffirm your vision
- Get Their Buy-In. After revisiting (and agreeing upon) the purpose, you ask, “Do you agree that’s what we are working towards?” In this case, she said, “Yea, I agree that’s what we are working towards.” Then he said, “As you look at the plan as we have it laid out, what do you like about the plan? Is there anything in there that you think we should consider changing?” Then he told me, “Mark, that’s when the light bulb went off.” All of a sudden, she owned it. She started complimenting the good things we had accomplished. She brought up a few small changes she recommended that, in the grand scheme of things, were immaterial. “At the end of that meeting, I felt our working relationship had gone to a whole new level.” Making her feel like she was being heard was all it took to get her buy-in.
Next time you are at an impasse, I challenge you, as a leader, to take a step back. Share the vision. Share what you are trying to accomplish with this project. Ask them if they are on board. Ask them if they have any ideas they’d like to add to the plan that we have in place.
If you do these things, you’ll find you get projects done faster, more efficiently, and you will have a lot more fun in the process.