(Part 2 of 7)
When facilitating a team’s discussion of whether to purchase software, a team member bombarded the leader’s suggestion with continuous questions. Each answer by the leader prompted added questions. Eventually, the leader postponed the decision.
Afterwards, I asked the leader, “Why did you devote so much time answering the member’s questions.”
“I was trying to get his buy-in,” the leader said.
Spending a lot of time seeking buy-in, I believe, is a mistake. .
A buy-in approach often gives too much attention to what authors Ella Ingram and Kerice Doten-Snitker call CAVE people—Colleagues Against Virtually Everything. Decisions become win-lose contests. The leader eventually prevails and the member loses, or the leader makes an unnecessary compromise and the member wins.
Successful change agents operate from a shared vision of what decisions attempt to create and propose potential options, seek suggestions, and move toward a decision.
When a CAVE person objects, the leader my validate the member with, “To be sure I understand, you are saying . . .?” The objector will agree or attempt further clarification.
The leader can then move on with something like, “I understand you support another option. I accept some disagreement as normal.”
While it is important for all to have a say, not everyone will get their way.