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Archive for May, 2018

double teamYou know you’ve done it. You invited one of your ‘difficult’ faculty members to a meeting with the express purpose of changing their minds on an important issue. You ‘cleverly’ plan the meeting. You also invite two or three supporters who are already on board with your direction. In addition, you prepare by collecting data and sharing it with your supporters. To top it off, you and your supporters arrive to the meeting 15 minutes early to prepare for the discussion with the lone dissenter. How can you possible lose the upcoming conversation?

Unfortunately this is a losing strategy. It will take the dissenter about ten minutes to realize that this is a set-up. The dissenter was not given the opportunity to prepare. The dissenter was not able to converse with others of a similar mind. Most importantly, it shows a lack of respect for the dissenter but not allowing a free and open dialog where multiple perspectives are given equal weight.

After the ‘double team’ on the dissenter, the damage has been done. Of course you haven’t convinced the dissenter. You have only alienated a loyal employee.  Why? Perhaps because you were afraid to have an open honest dialog about the issues?

With the ‘double team’ you may have destroyed the most important component of academic leadership – trust.

from the pen of Dr. Percy Trappe

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