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How to Test a Leader’s Thinking

Have you ever been in a meeting and the leader of the group says, “Hey, I have an idea!” and then proceeds to outline a suggestion that they clearly think is marvelous. But  you’re not convinced it’s marvelous. So the group sits there in awkward silence, trying to think of a diplomatic way to proceed. This is an opportunity to practice what Phil Buckley, author of Change on the Run calls, “testing a leader’s thinking.” Being able to test a leader’s thinking is a critical people equation skill because in order for your project to move forward, you need your leader’s support and buy-in. And if they’re proposing an idea that will take your project off track, it requires deft communication skills to navigate your way through the conversation. 

The greater a leader’s enthusiasm for their solution, the more difficult it is to influence their thinking

Phil Buckley – Author, Change on the Run

Phil invited me to join him for a 30 minute chat on his Change on the Run podcast, in which we discussed this very thing: what should you do if a leader gets super-excited about an idea, but hasn’t yet considered the implications of their suggestion? As Phil shared with me, “a leader’s desire to solve one problem can unintentionally create new ones.” So true!

What’s in the Testing a Leader’s Thinking Episode?

Phil and I had a great time exploring the various social psychology elements of leaders who offer their suggestions. Tune in to hear:

  • The challenges of testing a leadership thinking
  • The reasons leaders feel the need to contribute their ideas
  • Two things you can do to determine if a leader is receptive to having their idea tested
  • Ways to help a leader evaluate their idea without “calling their baby ugly”
  • What you should always do (it’s only 15 minutes!) in advance of a high-stakes meeting with a leader who has the ability to influence a project

Where Can I Find the Change on the Run Podcast?

Many thanks to Phil for inviting me to join his podcast. It was fun! Go check it out, you will enjoy Phil’s excellent insights and his masterful interview abilities.

You can listen to my episode here: Available on Sounder https://bit.ly/3iKl2js, Apple http://ow.ly/52s330qXlH2, Spotify https://spoti.fi/3pySk9u or your preferred platform.

Find all the episodes here: Change on the Run Podcast.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.

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