We all know what it means to explore nature…or the oceans…or outer space. But, can you explore in a conversation? In many projects, we need to explore ideas. We need to be able to ask questions and learn from the discussion.
Unfortunately, some people don’t know how to have an exploratory conversation. Once an idea is suggested, they want to run execute (even though no decisions were made).
That happened recently when exploring a change to the contract for a venue. We asked “Is it possible to extend the time of the event?” Within days, that organization was telling my people about the time change…even though there was no time change!
If you find yourself in an exploratory conversation:
- Clarify with the other person – Is this discussion or a decision?
- Are you asking me to act on this information?
- Do I have permission to use this information with others?
- When will this become a decision?
- Who is responsible for making the decision?
- How much time will I have to respond if a decision is made?
Otherwise…keep your mouth shut and for heavens sake, do not execute.
Thanks for listening.