Monday, August 18, 2008

The Answer is in the Questions

A group who recently took Foresight Styles Assessments made an oft repeated comment, "What interesting questions, they really made me think". Often Consultants and even individuals who are interested in FSA for personal or group development ask me, "What should I do with my results"? Naturally the results are interesting, and I will speak to that in the near future, but the questions can be just as useful. Take, for example, the question about being willing to give up benefits in the present to assure even better rewards in the future.

It is easy to come up with daily personal examples - give up this desert now for less weight gain in the future, pay bills now for lowering stress and feeling good about one’s self.

In business situations there are also many examples such as, address possible customer illness or injury caused by our product now instead of dealing with bad publicity, lowered product sales and legal costs in the future, - spend now on research for non-polluting materials for later rewards in the form of positive publicity, good will, saving on future fines or pollution clean-up costs.

How can giving up success now for even better rewards in the future help your team, your leadership group or your department? Are you, as Consultant, CEO, or leader willing to take such questions up in your organization? What better way to get more people involved in the decision making?

When it has to do with changes in process, work load, new assignments, new bosses or new mechanization, some employees, when questioned, perceive decision makers as a threat to them and their world. These individuals fight the changes recommended by others no matter who they are. When asked why they resist they reply with a series of responses you have heard before, "they don't know our organization", "they are too young (or old) and haven't thought things through," they don't have any experience in this specific situation", we've been through these changes before and it only makes things worse. These individual are those who can make life difficult in an organization change. Are they just difficult people who we can dismiss? Do they have any points to make? An open discussion of this question, handled respectfully, could open a few new doors.

Take Foresight Styles Assessment and think through the questions in relation to a current assignment or change situation. Use the questions and your own creativity to open difficult subjects and get people to articulate their feelings and attitudes.