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MAKING DECISIONS: PITFALLS, part 2

Here’s another common error.  Don’t ask for input from others if you have no intention of using it.  This is a repeat offense I’ve seen more times than I can count.  “Let’s send out a Survey Monkey” or have a brainstorm session or focus groups.  While I admire the good intentions of getting input from a broad sample of folks, if it is just a feel-good-window-dressing activity do not bother.  You will do more harm than good.

Here’s the deal, if you’ve asked for input then the final decision has to resemble some elements of other people’s ideas.  If there are none to be found then two destructive things happen.  Those who were consulted will feel duped, disillusioned or jaded.  Good luck getting them to participate in a similar session in the future.  But far worse is that you will have shattered their trust in you.  You lured them into something that sounded important and valuable, they gave it their all and then you ignored them.  Think about the potent message that sends.  Not only have you blown any chance of getting them engaged in the future but also they will make daily life difficult for you.  Now they don’t believe what you say.  Imagine the subterfuge that is surely to follow.

So the moral of that story is never, ever ask for input from others if you are not going to use it.

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