Eric Pliner: Difficult Decisions
Eric Pliner is chief executive officer of YSC Consulting. He has designed and implemented leadership strategy in partnership with some of the world’s best-known CEOs and organizations. Eric’s writing has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Forbes, and Fast Company.
A member of the Dramatists’ Guild of America, Eric is co-author of the U.S. National Standards for Health Education and Spooky Dog & the Teen-Age Gang Mysteries (with Amy Rhodes), an Off-Broadway theatrical parody of television cartoons for adults. He is a board director with Hip Hop Public Health. He is also the author of Difficult Decisions: How Leaders Make the Right Call with Insight, Integrity, and Empathy*.
In this conversation, Eric and I discuss the difficult and sometimes awkward moments when we engage other stakeholders in our decisions. We explore the language to use when discussing a stakeholder’s role in a decision. Plus, Eric details how to establish clear expectations about involvement in decisions to avoid sending messages that we otherwise don’t intend.
- Clarify who you will engage and how you intend to do so.
- Before discussing a decision with a stakeholder, explain how the decision is going to be made. Make it clear if you’re offering them a views, a voice, a vote, or a veto.
- Standardize your individual and team processes for decision-making.
- Ask the stakeholder for input — and go deeper with a second or third question to appreciate what’s behind what they’ve said.
- Remind stakeholders how the decision will be made when you conclude. Don’t underestimated the importance of this step.
Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).
- How to Influence Many Stakeholders, with Andy Kaufman (episode 240)
- How to Deal with Opponents and Adversaries, with Peter Block (episode 328)
- The Way to Make Better Decisions, with Annie Duke (episode 499)
- Handling a Difficult Stakeholder, with Nick Timiraos (episode 581)
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