Recently my team was working on a rather significant video for a large event. Many hours were spent in the planning and preparation of the video shoots, and many more hours were put into the shooting and editing the video. I have to say the final video was incredible. I’m so proud to say that I’m a part of such a talented team.
While in the editing process, there were times I would step into the video producers office just to see how things were going and to see if there were any ways I could help. At a certain point we needed to determine the style of music needed to play in the background of the video. I decided I would be able to give some suggestions and even send some files I thought would best fit the tone we were attempting to set. I suggested a few different files, but there was one that I knew was it. It fit perfectly. It built when it needed to and became somber at the right places as well.
I sent the file to the video producer and told him the time where he needed to start, and the different places that needed to be edited. A day or two passed, and I went to ask if there was anything else I could help with on editing the song file. He ended up using something entirely different. I was a little bit hurt, but honestly more confused. Why would you use something different from what I sent, because I sent the right one?
I learned something that day. I learned that just because I had a different opinion didn’t mean I was wrong, but at the same time it didn’t mean the video producer was wrong either. So, let me ask you a question. What’s more important, for you to be right or for the outcome to be the best that it can be? I believe there are ways for you to achieve the best desired outcome but it’s going to take some work.
Create an atmosphere where people can share their opinions.
This is far from an easy task, partly because I have to swallow my pride and potentially say someone else has a better idea than I do. Arguably, it takes more pride, in my team or organization, for me to embrace another person’s idea. The other challenge here is it requires time. It requires me to actually get together and discuss the task at hand with my team. I have to plan for those meetings or that time will never happen.
Do a little arguing.
I really do mean this. There has to be some strong feelings about what we are working on, because if there aren’t, we might need to find something else to work on. I believe having those strong feelings and expressing them helps us process what we are trying to convey.
Ask the quiet ones to speak.
I’ve found that my personality can sometimes (probably more times than I think) rule a conversation or a meeting. So much so, there are people in the room that listen and process far more than I do, and if I don’t ask they will potentially never share their opinion. The funny thing is when I ask them to share, the wealth of information and knowledge they have is potentially the most valuable information that is brought up. I think some of this has to do with personality, but I also think it has to do with the way people process things differently.
Sometimes you have to take charge and go with your decision.
As a leader, sometimes there are circumstance surrounding a decision that have to be made, and I have to be the one to make it, even if the rest of my team thinks it’s the wrong decision. I need to create an environment where my team understands that if I put my proverbial foot down, then the conversation needs to be over. This is also something that takes time to teach, learn, and understand. There has to be a level of trust among my team to know when this time comes.
I believe without a doubt this has taken my team to the next level. If I truly believe I want my team to succeed I need to find ways to give my team a voice.