Episode 165 S5-2
Tactfully Disagreeing with Leaders
Dark Days in Denver Ch 2
Whether you are in a career, family, the military or a survival situation, leaders guide your life. Sometimes you are going to take issue with the way they are leading you forward and you may have to address that. It is important to know how to do this tactfully so additional conflicts don't arise.
Respect for a leader must be earned. Younger individuals may be more prone to think that they could do any job when they enter the work force and don't understand the experience that it takes to do the job efficiently but that's just because they are young and haven't built the experience yet. The fact that respect must be earned and maintained is actually a good thing because it holds the leaders accountable for their actions. The leader taking action is the only thing that will earn respect and if an individual is coachable, a mutual respect will grow.
The quality of the leader is very important. They need to be able to show their followers why they should respect and listen to them. The merit of a person is a more important measure than the size of someone's wallet when choosing a leader. How well can they do the job they need to do should be the primary question. Everybody can teach you something! If you are the leader, set an example for people to follow so they clearly know why they respect you.
A military setting will change the leadership role slightly. As an enlisted member, you have to follow the orders of a superior officer but if the individual is a higher rank and really wants the respect of his men, he has to earn it through action as well. In military settings, impossible decisions have to be made by someone, somewhere, at some time. Those orders are followed down the line. However, if you have a volunteer force, a blind following of orders will be more difficult to ensure. In either case tough decisions that effect people's lives will have to be made.
If you have a problem with a superior, break down why you are having a problem and explain it to them. Try not to be too demanding even if you have a superior knowledge base for the problem at hand. Don't do what 1st Sergeant Bennet did in this chapter and punch your superior in the face!
In your career, you have to be more of a salesman when it comes to getting leaders to alter their course of direction. You need to be able to explain clearly why the decision may not be the best course of action. Ask questions about the possible scenarios to prove why the idea may not be the best idea. Don't press directly after asking the question. Give them time to process the answer to your question. If you push, they may give you a horrible answer just to make sure they stay on their course of action. Don't back them into a corner. You have to give them time.
When decisions have to be made that you don't agree with, try to back plan your timeline. Try to estimate the sequence of actions that will take place until the decision starts affecting you or killing people. Then you will know how much time you have to get the decision altered and if you have enough time to accomplish that.
Conflicts with leaders are difficult and can make your life challenging. If you have the backing of your leadership, you will have greater access to assets that you need to do your job. If you don't have the backing of the leaders, assets have to be "acquired" and this will limit your ability to do the job.
Try not to let emotions get in the way. Assess how big of an effect the decision will have on you. What does it matter if the decision is made or not? How much effort do you want to put into changing the decision. Is your family involved? Worry about one problem at a time.
Every aspect of fighting on an individual level translates up to the core level of fighting. Small tricks that you can use as a fighter ex: feinting while boxing, works at a larger level too.
Learn the why. Try to understand the reasoning behind the leader's decision. Be tactful, don't just badger the person over and over. Assets allotted to one area may save many more lives than if they were allotted to other areas. It's a big picture decision and everyone is looking at the problem from a different angle. Usually less experienced individuals will discuss the individual tactics but the older more experienced individuals will discuss the logistics of supplying the individuals within their teams.
Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:
"Assumptions can be dangerous."