Which direction should we take? Your way, my way or the highway?
From time to time we all have to work with other people to bring our ideas to life. After all, worthy ideas don’t get done alone.
But when you’re working with other people, who gets to decide which way is the right way?
If you’re the initiator and it’s your sole project then you may call your way of doing things the right way. That’s the easy case.
How about when you’re working with other people and they decide which way things go and how they get done?
What if it’s not your sole project? What if you can’t control the end results?
You see, when we get involved with something that we care about the outcome, we feel pressured to succeed. If not, why would we even get involved in the first place?
That pressure forces us to think deeper and come up with different ways of doing things that may not always be aligned with others.
So what do you do when that’s the case?
You’ve come up with all these cool ideas which can help the project in a meaningful way. You’ve done your research and feel confident about a particular direction. But, you feel helpless.
The first thing to do is realizing what’s behind this whole my way and your way thing.
It’s simple. Control is what drives it.
Everyone wants to have control over what they work on and losing it creates stress. Think about what could happen when a pilot loses control.
For someone who’s in charge of choosing the direction, they will not change it without knowing they’d still be in control.
So if you want them to make a change, you have to make sure they don’t lose control. And for them not to lose control, they have to buy into your ideas to a point that it also becomes their ideas.
But how do you make your ideas become theirs?
By never telling them what’s the better way. You need to guide them through the process of coming up with that better way.
All you have to do is give them hints by leveraging the facts, data and research results you’ve found.
This way, they go through the same process that you did and come up with the solution on their own.
Once they get there on their own, now they are inspired to make it happen.
Also, they will feel more accountable towards the results while maintaining control.
And if they are decent human beings, they will always remember who got them there so you don’t have to worry about getting your praise.
In most cases, the only difference between your way and their way is that you haven’t both got to the same conclusion.
So instead of telling people about your way of doing things, you help them walk there on their own legs. That’s it.
I hope this has inspired you to find a way to improve what you’re working on with all your brilliant ideas without feeling frustrated.
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