How to Complain Without Losing Face (Podcast)

Have you ever felt frustrated with a process and wanted to say something to your leader about it, but were afraid that if you did you might be looked at as rebellious? Is there a way to confront properly? Is it possible to challenge the process without challenging the leader? I think it is possible. And in today's Leaders Factory Podcast we're going to address how to do just that.



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How to Challenge the Process:

Progress is always proceeded by change. Change is always proceeded by challenge. Challenging the status quo is often where leadership begins.

Be a raving fan publicly and an honest critic privately.

Managing the Fan / Critic Challenge:

  1. Develop the art of challenging the process without challenging the authority of the leader.

    • it’s personality driven
    • it’s relationship driven
    • timing is everything

    How? a.  When instruction is given, follow through now and debrief later. b.  Never verbalize your frustration with the process in front of other team members.
 Public loyalty creates private leverage. c.  Don’t confuse your insights as moral imperatives. d.  Remember that “no” doesn’t necessarily mean your boss is not open to change. It may mean your idea isn’t any good.

  2. Create opportunities for those who report to you to challenge the process.
 I would recommend creating weekly or monthly reports. Ask these seven questions:

What are we doing right? (Let’s optimize)
    • What’s wrong? (Let’s change)
    • What’s confusing? (Let’s clarify)
    • What’s missing? (Let’s add)
    • What are the threats? (Let’s avoid)
What are the opportunities? (Let’s exploit)
    • What could we eliminate that no one would miss? (Let’s cut it out)
  3. The Mission and Vision is permanent but the model and programming is temporary. At the beginning of a meeting make it clear what are the non-negotiables and what is up for discussion.

Questions: Are you a raving fan publicly of your leader? Do you feel comfortable confronting your leader? Leaders, do you invite your people to challenge the process?