Fourth Age Communiqué - Leadership for the rest of us

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just how badly do you want my money?

Or, If you can't say anything nice ... by all means, throw a fit in front of an executive

In a recent meeting with several executives, a non-executive came looking for a handout. A Megan Joy - American Idol moment ensued.

Team A requested an investment in their product from Team B. Team A was rebuffed, and a member of the team made his disappointment known. Team A was offered alternatives, and the non-executive turned down Team B, citing schedule conflicts and displaying a general inflexibility.

What Team A did not know was, the sponsoring executives were open to the funding request ... Until Team B heard this response: "I just don't have time to try something new. But if you won't fund my project, I'll tell my team to kill it." The call ended rather quickly after that.

Nobody likes rejection. We take it personally, especially when we have invested in a particular tool or resource, only to find it coming under attack. Worst of all is when we are unprepared to face change.

Such circumstances do not relieve us from the responsibility of responding well. Being right, or being under perceived attack, is not license to respond with hostility. Burning bridges will not make things better.

But responding well, even being conciliatory, may actually build bridges.


Post a Comment

<< Home