Poor Richard's Junto: management science, entrepreneurship, business ownership, management

This blog dares leaders to do better. We encourage those managers with the wits to change and we exchange ideas in management science to mutual benefit and personal development. This is the place for those leaders who admonish folly and hubris and yet are devoted to continuous mental development, entrepreneurship, business ownership, & business management. As such, let this be a forum for thought leaders, CEOs, and business owners as Ben Franklin once did with the Junto and his almanac.

If two men exchange dollars; each man stands to gain a dollar. However, let these men exchange ideas, and each stands to gain a fortune.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How to Confront Your Boss - Conflict Resolution Tool - LCS

Ever have the urge to disagree with your boss without being disagreeable? Here’s a simple tool with an easy to remember three letter acronym that works great when you’re put on the spot. The acronym is L.C.S which stands for Like, Concern, and Suggestion. Here’s how to use it.

Like:  People respond well to acknowledgement and compliments.  The challenge is to think of something sincere to compliment your boss on when you disagree with them.  Fortunately, this is easily resolved by complimenting them on general aspects that you genuinely do appreciate such as, their tenacity, creativity, or your opportunity to be involved.  Here’s an example of this approach put in practice:
o   Example:  “I like your interest in this project and the passion that you’re putting behind it…”

Concern:  By simply sharing what concerns you rather than saying what’s wrong; it’s more likely that your boss will not be put on the defense.  It’s also more likely you’ll communicate using the “I” word rather than the potentially offensive “you” word.  Sharing your concern is constructive. Conveying the context to any suggestions you may have is important; otherwise the significance of your proposal may be lost. This would be a shame as you could potentially short change your boss by not providing the basis to make optimal decisions. You could also limit your personal rewards and the organization’s ability to benefit from your unique talents and insights.
o   Example:  “my concern is that if I take the proposed action, I won’t be able to fulfill your expectations because…”

Suggestion:  If you’re successful in your delivery; your boss should now be more receptive to your input.   Make a suggestion and be sure to relate it to your boss’ needs.  Remember, many bosses ask for your input as means to soundboard or merely to validate their own ideas.  With this in mind, it’s wise to anchor your suggestions to their priorities.
o   Example: “My suggestion is that we… this way we can meet your timeline and come in under budget”. 

Enjoy the LCS tool and put it to good use anytime you have the need to confront someone. Happy Holidays. 

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