Sunday, October 13, 2013

Listen to the Team's Feedback

The one thing Jim Phelps did during his mission briefings was to listen a lot and let others answer the big questions.  “How will we get out of the prison once we have the General?”  “Well, Cinnamon, that’s where’s Barney comes in…why don’t you brief us on that Barney.” 
Even more than that, the IMF team often asked pointed questions like, “Do you really think you can convince him that you are his father, Jim?” 

They sometimes had to point out facts like, “That’s a time delay door.  It will take three minutes to open once we have input the code.  Your timeline won’t work as is.”  Phelps never got angry with the feedback he received.  He used it to refine the plan and allow others to feel more of a part of the overall success.  In addition to this, the act of listening to his people's concerns helped build faith in the plan as a whole.  This was vitally important in completing the mission because people who feel they are sent out to fail, usually do.  Likewise, people who have confidence in the plan and confidence in the person who scripted the plan, often succeed.

If your staff meetings and company meetings consist mostly with you talking about what you want to talk about, something is wrong.  Are you listening?  Are you sharing the stage?  Are you letting other people own their parts of the mission?

If you get angry when people question your plan, you are stifling valuable input that can make or break your mission.  Is it more important that you never be questioned?  Or is it more important that your mission be a success?

ACTION:  Listen as much as you talk and always be receptive to the feedback you receive.

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