Jedi Talking – Five Questions Reveal Approaches to Influence

Sometimes in life and work, we become convinced of a need to change before most of those around us. Either we read the tea leaves, or we see the bigger picture, or some how we just were able to jump through the problem straight to a potential solution. Maybe we have worked through all the analysis in our mind and have a detailed idea that could be a slam dunk, a quick win, or a major turn-around for the organization. The problem is simply that everyone else is stuck in the status quo. Maybe they don’t see the problem clearly yet, maybe they just are not willing give what change requires – or maybe they just see the obstacles to change as being unavoidable or worse, unforeseeable. Maybe they see the risk of the change as many times larger than the risk embedded in the problem.

You have tried telling them. You had tried to convince others that your idea is good, that it will work. You have “told them until you are blue in the face.” Somehow, you end up coming off as unhelpful. People generally get defensive when you try to tell them about the problem, you can’t even get the solution on the table.

Perhaps the issue is not that your analysis is weak, or your solution is not worthy, but only that it is not shared. How do you get others to share your perspective, and to help champion your ideas? How do you get them to understand that the status quo (which they have been working hard to build and keep going) is going to turn out to be insufficient to achieve the larger vision? How do you get them to “disinvest” themselves in the way things are, so that they can invest in a new idea? How do you get them to be open to your ideas, instead of getting defensive?Continue Reading

Is It Me?

Occasionally – I will get into a conflict with someone, and I don’t know why. When I look back at the conversation, what I remember, it becomes apparent that either I baited someone into an argument, or vice versa.

Sometimes this happens because I attach connotative meaning to something someone says because I think I know what he or she means. Other times I have some history that comes to bear, so I project that history on top of something. In either case, the conversation becomes broken, and communication stops.

Inevitably, it turns out that I have tried to read meaning into something that someone didn’t intend, or maybe they did, but didn’t expect anyone to pick up on it, and so they are embarrassed that it was noticeable. Perhaps the best thing to do is to act as if everyone communicates superficially, and straight, and to simply communicate back at that level. To not read anything into other peoples statements and questions.

By ignoring perceived hidden agendas, ulterior motives, personal biases – my communication becomes straight; to the point. Not balled up in other peoples issues. As an analyst, I tend to try (too hard) to unwind this stuff and sometimes get wrapped around the axle in doing so. I react to my perceptions of others’ motive and agendas, rather than simply communicating facts and my opinions (when asked), I let my opinions of others interfere with communication.

Inaugural Curation Post…

This week I am making good on my intent to post some of what I’ve been reading and found valuable.

agile42 | Feature Injection Applied to Service Delivery

I spent a bit of time reading about Feature Injection as a different way (than other agile processes) at dealing with requirements.  I really am intrigued, and will try to adjust my requirements practice to include these concepts. 

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?

This also was interesting – as it clearly reflects what we all experience – decisions take mental energy, and making decisions when mentally tired is sub-optimal.  One could infer from this how to re-arrange one’s schedule to make better decisions, or to be less mentally tired when decisions are needful.

Time to ditch “The Backlog” « The IT Risk Manager

This also was provocative – not because having a backlog is a bad thing, but because how we name things allows others to infer things from the connotative meaning in that naming. 

Calamity howlers & positively selecting with surprise « Freckle Time Tracking

A “calamity howler” (CH) is a persistently negative individual who predicts rack & ruin, frequently and at the top of his voice. It’s a great term that was especially popular in political writings back in the mid-to-late 1800′s but has since fell out of disuse.  — who is the CH on your current project or in your current team.