As a change agent, we lead groups of cross functional teams from all levels of the organization. Soft skills training is invaluable to effective leadership. This training will enable you to direct the change adoption process. For every change there is usually some form of resistance. CAVE dweller will seem to be lurking in the shadows ready to pounce. The term CAVE dweller was coined in the 1990 publication, “IS LATEST CRITICISM WORTHWHILE TALK OR JUST WORTHLESS?” by Bo Poertner. CAVE is an acronym for Citizens Against Virtually Everything. In my career, I have been opposed by persons that could be considered CAVE dwellers. I found myself ill-prepared on how to respond early on. It wasn’t until I had some mangagement training that enhanced ability to react appropriately.
Change Agent Soft Skills Training Tip
In every Lean Six Sigma project you are challenged to maintain forward momentum and when you get feedback like, “This is not going to work!” Don’t let this stop you in your tracks. It is important for you to acknowledge the complaint and turn the complaint into a constructive opportunity for the person to contribute.
I love the way Tim Ferriss defines complaining: “describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem.”
Encourage the complainer to offer a solution to the problem. This takes you out of the equation and focuses the attention on the problem. The beauty of this method is that you will gain buy-in if the team agrees this is a good idea. You don’t have to have all the good ideas – this is a team effort. When the objector sees that the team values the suggestion they will scream from the mountain tops that this was their idea. Congratulations, you just earned an evangelist. So if anyone else not on the team opposes they will back you up.
Not All Complaints are Bad
The worst thing you can do is silence a complaint. Remember, customer complaints are the catalysts of continuous improvement. Here are a couple of examples:
“I had to call Tech Support multiple times before my issue was resolved.”
Dish Network won the J.D. Power Award by addressing this complaint with One Call Resolution Training Success
“I hate waiting behind a person with a cart-full of items, when I only need to buy this one tube of toothpaste.”
Hence, the development of Express & Self Checkout Lines
Complaints do happen, but transform complaints into an exchange of solutions to problems, rather than a counterproductive rant. How long do you think you can go without complaining? 24 Hours? 5 Days?
How about 3 weeks! In the book, A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted, you can take the challenge to Stop Complaining dead in its tracks.
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