Prepare for People Who Say This Does Not Make any Sense

This doesn't make any sense

"This does not make any sense."

There are times that you make decisions others don’t understand. They don’t know your circumstances and they don’t have the information you have. You can lose a lot of time waiting for someone else to get up to speed.

"This doesn't make any sense. That doesn't make any sense. I don't understand this." It can keep playing in a loop.

You may need to move forward. They may have to play catch-up. Listen to their concerns. Act on those that seem valid to you. But don’t stop. And don’t let them keep at it. You may have to call a stop to conversations that keep going in an endless loop. It not only wastes time, but it drags you down.

Just know that those types of people will appear. They are not bad people. They just don’t see it. And they may never see it.


"Rather than attempting to change an ongoing situation, we've discovered that it is far easier to create a brand-new one."

James Belasco, Jerre Stead, Soaring With the Phoenix

Five Days of Coaching to Help You With Those Who Say "This Does Not Make any Sense"

DAY ONE

Think about the instances where you did something that someone else just didn't get. How did you handle it? How did it hold you back? Did it make you more determined? As an intelligent, thoughtful decision maker, what do you now think about that person's response?

The Coach asks:

  • Write down a few times when you took a course of action and one of your team, or someone personal to you objected to it and said, "This does not make any sense."
  • How did you handle their lack of "getting it?" How did that work out? 
  • With the benefit of hindsight, what are your thoughts about that person's response now? 
  • What did their response foster in your own thinking, attitude and determination? Did it propel you forward? Retard your progress? What's to be learned from these instances? 


DAY TWO

It may not be today, but you will come across people who just don't get it. They don't have the information you have. Decide in advance how you might best handle that situation when it does come up. How will you move ahead with what's best or what needs to happen while still honoring and respecting the person who doesn't or can't get it?

The Coach asks:

  • Based on your reflections yesterday, how would you now handle the instance where a valued team member says of your idea, "This does not make any sense?"
  • What matters about relationship, when you come up against this type of response? 
  • Sometimes you can't reveal all the information you are privy to as a leader. How much information is enough? How much is too much? How much is too little? 
  • Are there any common characteristics about those who say, "I don't understand this?" 


DAY THREE

Today, ask what information and background thinking you can share. Practice being as clear as possible with what you say to help others understand.

The Coach asks:

  • Think about a current situation you are facing or have recently faced. What background information can you share? To whom? When? How? 
  • How can you maintain clarity, yet now reveal all? 
  • What do you need to clarify to not be seen as withholding information that "they" feel you should now divulge? 
  • When is it advisable to be more forthcoming and provide greater clarity? How good are you at this? Is it a leadership strength you have? If it's not a strength, what is it? What can you do about it?  


DAY FOUR

Are you waiting for someone to make up their mind but deep down you realize that they just truly don't get it? It may be tough, but it's time to make progress. Move forward. Give as much explanation as you think is necessary, but then get on with it.

The Coach asks: 

  • What's the potential fallout of them not "getting it," and you moving forward? How prepared are you for what might happen? 
  • You've decided to move forward. They still say it doesn't make any sense. You've explained. You've answered questions. You've given time to get on board. Now it's time to act. Take that next step.
  • What's hard about this? What came easy once the decision was made? What could have made it "easier?" 
  • Sometimes leadership is a lonely business. You just have to move forward. Others will have to play catch-up. And they may never catch up. Be prepared to accept that.  


DAY FIVE

Stop conversations that keep repeating themselves. The individual doesn't get it and because they don't get it they are wearing you down. You can't be your best for them or anyone else if they keep sucking you dry of emotional energy.

Create a new standard for yourself and protect it with a boundary. Train yourself to courteously end these conversations as soon as you recognize their futility.

The Coach asks: 

  • Of course you are a leader who wants to be kind in all your interactions. That's not in doubt. But this individual (or few individuals) are wearing you down. Constantly listening to them is draining. It's become circular. And they offer no convincing argument. Honor the person, but make the call and move ahead.
  • Have you delayed because of this individual? Has your delay affected progress? Has the delay affected others on the team or in the workforce? What's to be gained from this delay? What's being lost? 
  • What is your new standard for dealing with those who just can't get up to speed as a stall or stop tactic? Who can't get up to speed because they genuinely don't get it, even though they might like to? 
  • What are you learning as you have considered this topic? How have you decided to use your learning moving forward? What greater benefit will come as a result of your intentionality? 


Record Your Progress

This is your opportunity to track your progress. Start by asking yourself how important this practice is to you? Record the importance as - not at all, somewhat, fairly, highly or extremely. 

Now next to it ask yourself how well you carry out this practice. Record your performance as - very poor, poor, okay, good or very good. 

Importance Performance Check

The things we track, we pay attention to. Across time, come back and record your new results. You will find that as you are intentional about making improvements, you will bump your "score" up higher. 

This is significant. Don't miss the opportunity to acknowledge your success, and use it as a springboard for making even further gain. 


Notes

Sometimes the courage of your convictions needs to propel you forward. 

Of course you should counsel with others, get the best advice and input you can. Weigh all of it. As a leader you must.

Now, assuming you land right back at the same conclusion, you need to move forward. 


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