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Committed or Compliant?

Written by Rene Boer on January 27, 2014

Implementers EOS

Commitment_or_Compliant"Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.” - Margaret Thatcher

What do people in your organization do when decisions don't go their way? Do they accept the decision even though they disagree with it? Do they demonstrate through their words and actions that they support the decision and that they're committed to achieving the objective? When communicating inside or outside the organization, do they give the impression that they are completely on board? Do their actions follow their words?

People who are complying do so halfheartedly and take action only reluctantly. But, they're not fooling anyone. Their subordinates and peers know halfhearted support when they see it. Being fully engaged is a reflection of commitment to the task at hand. One cannot be a bystander. The Iron Lady was correct in saying that you can only stand in the middle of the road for so long before you're knocked down.

So, when you're in a meeting with your team ensure that everyone speaks up and voices concerns before the decision is made. Ensure that each person weighs in. By the way, "I don't care" is not weighing in. If they don't have an opinion, you have to question why they're in the room.

Sometimes you have to create a little conflict to arrive at commitment. You need commitment, not compliance. Compliers eventually become complainers, especially when the road gets bumpy. They're the ones that point out (with 20/20 hindsight) that they knew all along that a poor decision was made.

You can enforce compliance but you can't enforce commitment. Commitment is about positive energy. Compliance? Not so much.

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