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Good Guys give you Grief !!

It is true. Good guys give you grief, they will come up with all kinds of questions, think of scenarios, which you have not thought of, embarrass you by pushing the envelope on you and team. Especially for HR, when we come out with what we think is the perfect policy, that incentive scheme which has been triangulated and version 33 been presented, only to be questioned on some fundamental flaw which has been overlooked by all the top management brains in the company.

My advice is to take a big gulp, hide your ego, listen to them and be amazed at how their brains work differently than everyone else’s. They are not showing off (sometimes yes, they are) but trying to figure out how will this actually work. I have found myself in such scenarios now more often than earlier. I have been consulting for 6 years now and each assignment is different and same. We would build a new performance management system, a completely customized success model, a new training program, a new incentive scheme, a long-term incentive plan, a new organization structure and share with (after due approval and post version 57 from top management) the first set of brilliant functional managers and there in the meeting will be this one guy who will come up with the most relevant and unthinkable question(s) and he is usually right. Everyone will be looking disgusted as to “why” should he speak up now and the rework we will have to do. But you will have to admit that you did not think through this unique scenario. So, go back to your drawing board and rework to make it better.

At times it is frustrating, as you would have already burnt the midnight oil to create something and the discovery of this flaw will ruin everything. Usually such a discussion makes the solution richer, deeper and more meaningful. But the feedback stings, gulping your pride becomes extremely hard and you sometimes want to stifle that opinion and voice. My suggestion would be to encourage it and be benefited.

Here are the three tricks you need to remember and apply:

  • Do not defend.
  • When you hear dissent, open your eyes and ears wider.
  • Listen with your Head as your heart is beating faster & your emotions want to drown everything in the sea of “I Know”. Beware of getting drowned in that sea.

Good guys are tough to find and when they give you grief, listen to them, encourage them and relish the moment. It is great to get their advice, remember, it is coming free. When they know that they will be listened to, and respected for what their opinion is, they stay. That is the reward organization benefits from tremendously.

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