May 2017 Business Case Study

The Situation:Building Relationships and Engaging Leaders

Andy was brought in to develop key best practices for organization leaders. However, he got off on the wrong foot in meeting with the leaders by asking what was viewed as “I am smarter than you” questions. A year has gone by with no key initiatives in place and he continues to struggle to secure management buy-in.

The Solution:

Andy is a subject matter expert with many wins from previous organizations. He has been resilient enough to make changes when needed. Unfortunately, in his initial meetings with stakeholders he left them the impression that he knew more than they did. They resented his direct style and flippant remarks. In fact, the senior leaders are beginning to think about replacing him.

Andy realized that he needs to find opportunities to work on earning stakeholder respect and to build confidence with them on their views. Andy began developing critical active listening skills focusing on not immediately responding. He learned to read the audience, grasp what was said and stay between the lines by not immediately challenging their points of view. Andy worked on understanding how to continually modify the process by applying effective listening skills and empathetically adapting to different communication styles.

The Outcome:

Senior leaders are noticing changes. Andy has made it a priority not to interrupt in meetings. He waits to be asked for an opinion. He continues to handle tricky situations by creating strong relationships with the stakeholders. Andy is making real progress creating some best practices that incorporate input from peers and stakeholders.

Networking is an essential part of building wealth. Armstrong Williams