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Category: Organizational Effectiveness

You don’t need to agree. But don’t offend!

We live in a world where offense is becoming more and more the norm. If you say aqua, and I say blue-green, then you are obviously blind. You can’t see what is right in front of you. You’re not qualified to make a decision. Possibly not qualified to even be on the team.

Wait! What were we trying to accomplish? Sometimes we get so focused on ensuring that everyone agrees with our every point we lose sight of what we were trying to accomplish to begin with.

What is the goal? Is it to win every battle, or to win the war? Is it to have everyone see it as you see it, or to accomplish something?

Every message is a sales pitch. And making the sale is the responsibility of the seller, not the buyer. If your listener, your team member, your partner is not agreeing with you then it is incumbent on you to change your message, or at least your method of delivery, in an effort to make the sale. Because as soon as you offend the conversation is over! You will not receive buy-in for even the best idea or product after you offend. Remember, there is a difference in going along, and buy-in. You are ultimately seeking buy-in.

Sometimes offense is a function of culture, sometimes it is a function of emotion, sometimes it is a function of ignorance. But ultimately, it is the responsibility of the deliverer to ensure that they are heard.

“That’s just the way we talk where I come from.” Maybe. But if you are trying to sell me on an idea or a product, it is your responsibility to communicate in a manner that works “where I come from.”

You’ve already offended? Back up. Clean it up. Apologize. The success of your communication, and your life, is all on you.


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