State It Once: One Way to be the Leader in any Interaction

Winning With Accountability

“State It Once” means you should, in a productive and constructive way, name a problem if a problem exists. This might be a problem with somebody’s behavior, it could also be a problem with a process. But, it’s never good to just leave it alone and not mention it. By Stating It Once, you call attention to the problem, you put it on the table where people can look at it and you acknowledge its existence.

If you are now starting to repeat the problem or having a redundant discussion about a person’s shortcoming, you are starting to ruin their reputation, demean them and you are also not helping us solve the problem. We suggest that the best thing to do is that after a problem has been stated once, which again that’s productive and constructive, it’s time to change the momentum of the discussion from the acknowledgement of the problem to a solution.

It might sound like this: if I were late to meetings and that were bothering you and a colleague – one of you might say,

“You know, Henry’s late to meetings and I find it disrespectful.”

And the other person might say, “You know, you’re right.”

And here is where the leadership moment happens. Instead of saying, “Yeah, you’re right, Henry is always late to meetings and that drives me crazy too.” They say:

“You’re right, Henry’s always late, what do you think might be causing that?”

Or, “You’re right, Henry’s late, is there anything going on in his personal life that could be causing that?”

Or, “You’re right, Henry’s late, what do you think the root cause is and what can we do to help him be on time?”

If you hear what’s happening in that moment, this person’s kind of doing a judo throw. They are changing the momentum of the interaction so that it becomes a solution oriented one. And we think that the leaders in an organization are the people who do that habitually.

Whenever they hear that negative momentum, they immediately convert it to a solution oriented dialogue. We are saying that those leaders can come from ANY area of an organizational chart, your title doesn’t matter. Our next book is going to focus on moments like this and these are the moments when you can create leadership wherever you are on the org chart.

Thank you for spending time with us again this month and we look forward to seeing you again next month.

The preceding text is copyrighted material from the best selling book;

“Winning with Accountability, the Secret Language of High Performing Organizations”

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