“All progress depends on the unreasonable man”, so said George Bernard Shaw.
In an age where organizational leadership and collaboration requires listening and understanding is there a role for the unreasonable person to take us down a road we don’t like or trust? Certainly! Especially when people resist change.
Let’s skip the rationale for being unreasonable. Just think: Steven Jobs. Being unreasonable has to happen now and then in order for us to be helpful to people. Just don’t use it all the time and remember you’ll be praised for both when it works and held accountable when it doesn’t.
When you are clear about something that has to happen try these ideas on how to be unreasonable and get people to go along with you.
Ideas and questions for being unreasonable:
Here’s here we are going. I don’t fully know how we will get there, but we are going there.
I’m prepared to be wrong and that’s not going to lessen my resolve.
I’m going to listen to you to see if what you say adds anything to my decision.
Suppose I’m right in my view of what needs to happen. Please describe how you see it working.
Suppose we get there, how do you see yourself contributing to the outcome?
When you have been involved in an activity like this in the past, what worked?
What are the first small steps you see yourself taking in the next short while?
We will encounter setbacks and some of them may be contrary to your interests. How do you see yourself handling the setbacks?
On a scale of 1 – 10 with 1 being lowest, how much have you bought into my decision? What things can I tell you that will increase your buy-in?
Why take the time to be unreasonable this way? Why not just tell them what to do? This route get you (and them) there much quicker!
As usual, the ideas are based on the Solutions Focus model.