More Love

Pre-negotiating Differences

Apr 30, 2021

Competing styles will sink your chances of success if you let them.

My bride and I were enjoying a relaxing summer day at the lake.

We had never tried canoeing before, so we decided to give it a go.

We slipped on our life vests, took our seats in a nearby canoe, and readied our paddles.

I pushed off the sandy beach and launched us into the open water.

It was an enjoyable 30 seconds.

From the moment we dipped our paddles in the water, chaos ensued.

The timing of our strokes was off, our direction was off—everything was off.

The harder we tried, the further off-course we drifted.

What was amusing at first turned stressful as our communication broke down.

After 20+ nerve-wracking minutes, we fumbled our way back to dry land.

The better time to coordinate our approach and roles would have been BEFORE we embarked on our adventure.

The same is true in our leadership.

Where you have stylistic differences with a team member, pre-negotiate your working style.

EXAMPLE: If you’re a talk-it-outer (like me) and they’re a think-it-througher, work out a mutually agreeable approach BEFORE your project is up against a deadline or a last-minute change impacts your work.

Your execution won’t get any smoother once the heat gets turned up.