The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Buying into the decision?

When a leader decides something, he will always be confronted with the possibility that others will not agree with his decision.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be confronted with resistance or problems.

However, it has to be his assessment if such resistance will appear and how much of a problem this will be for his plans.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a necessity to change his decision. That’s what the assessment is about. In the end, the decision only is one of several ways to move forward on a given plan.

It also doesn’t mean that there is a need to worry about the impact of the decision before sharing it. It is more interesting to be aware of possible consequences and then to become curious about whatever really happens.

Sometimes, silence is what one has to worry about more than about appearing resistance. It happens when people disagree but don’t feel able to share it or believe that their voice will not be heard.

Sometimes, there is some resistance and people will try to overcome that decision by asking people to buy into the decision. It’s asking people to change their opinion and agree with something they disagreed with. The assumption here is, that people who offer resistance need to be persuaded and need to agree with the decision. However, this isn’t the case.

Whatever people’s opinion, it doesn’t need to prevent them from executing the decision. And it doesn’t say anything about the quality of the decision. It just says that the person feels uncomfortable about the decision and his own ability to act on it.

Asking someone to buy in on the decision is the leader’s desire to be followed and his anxiety that people might not do what he wants. It is asking them to give up on having an opinion or on learning what may change that opinion.

Depending on the importance of the decision, a better approach altogether might be to find a path to a shared decision. Not one where there is a preference for one decision that is clear to everyone, but one where the possibility to agree on a shared decision is what the leader’s focus is on. It implies that everyone is willing to listen to other people’s arguments and ideas.


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