can work styles change?

I  have a colleague who believes that we should complete the job, then share.

I believe that when you’re trying to get something done, you should get the input of all the stakeholders first.

Colleague believes that asking shows incompetence and laziness

I believe asking shows respect and is efficient.

I believe my role is to gather information, analyze it, and present solutions that represent my experience and insight, while accounting for all the issues.

Colleague believes that all this talk is a waste of time.

Can I win him over?



  1. Yes, but asking also reflects that you are human, don’t have all the answers, and wish to include key folks in the formulation process. It is far more efficient to include them in that process up-front then to have to re-design the solution after stakeholders see it and provide (possibly differing) input.

    This is just like software development and what research has shown about Agile and including stakeholders upfront and throughout the development process.

    Ultimately I think that not asking is a form of control used to limit input – generally not healthy for all involved.

    Challenge is how to convince someone who sees it otherwise. You can go along with them until their process fails (which it will eventually) – but you could get brought down with it. Or maybe you could select a small project and insist on trying your approach and agree to solicit input afterwards. If the input is negative, then you can change approaches.

  2. I’d rather work for you then them.

    This is the exact kind of thing that came up in special “High Performance Organization Training” sweeping through our gov agency; I sat in sessions just a couple of weeks ago. The instructor drove home how important it was to get feedback the way you say you like to: by asking. If people are not involved, they end up becoming resentful and untrusted and do not have the same stake in outcome.

    I was struck by something that was said (maybe you said it?) at last week’s conference in DC: about how every person on a team knows, in the pit of their gut, a project’s pitfalls. If the environment is such that they can express these, problems can be solved in advance.

    If discourse is not the norm, people are less likely to share, leading to lowered performance and increasing the risk of project failure.

    Long-winded way of saying yes, it’s good to involve team members.

    How to convert coworker? Get them to training.

    I don’t think you could do it alone because sometimes people are determined to not change. It takes an education team to bridge gaps like that.

  3. spleeness – you’re right – I’ve never been on a project where people didn’t know in there gut what the gotchas were. I have been on several where they didn’t want to share/act on the info. I guess I better act on this and take my own advice!

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