SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.
Last week, we asked: What is your preferred style for moving a team toward making a decision?
- I push and drive until we get there: 14.44%
- I build consensus through influence: 65.81%
- I remain quiet and keep the group on track: 18.46%
- I let others drive the decision: 1.28%
There is power in silence. Clearly most people have a bias toward building consensus by directly influencing people. That approach works and can be effective, but consensus-based decision making can also take a lot of time. And while you’re pushing to influence others, they might dig in and push back. A different technique to try is being silent and only asking questions to keep things on track. In so doing, you let others come to conclusions by simply steering the conversation. This method can work faster than influence-based consensus in that you get less push back from those involved because you’re making the idea their idea.
Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”