How to Influence Increased Productivity

Have you ever wished you were more effective at influencing the decisions of others? Better yet would more effective and collaborative decisions made by your employees or team members result in less conflict and increased productivity?

This past week I returned to Toronto after a brief stay in North Carolina. Upon landing but prior to exiting the plane there was a relatively brief but intense discussion between the flight attendant and ground attendant, following which all passengers were released from the plane only to stand on the tarmac for another fifteen minutes awaiting our luggage.

I wouldn’t have minded if we had to do this upon arrival to North Carolina, but standing in 40 degree Fahrenheit weather wearing little more than a spring jacket was not a pleasant experience. As we stood shivering, the ground attendant clearly still upset from the earlier discussion with the flight attendant apologized for the delay citing a broken luggage trolley as the culprit. “I’m not sure why the flight attendant wouldn’t let you stay on the plane where it’s warm. Apparently she has a memo that says all passengers can be released upon landing.

A memo?

It’s clear in this instance that both the flight attendant and ground attendant made a decision that they felt was the best given the circumstances, however their inability to share information, consider accentuating circumstances and collaborate on a better solution resulted in conflict (a less than productive outcome) with passengers receiving the short end of the stick.

How are you ensuring that the decisions made by your team support increased productivity?

In many of the retreats that I facilitate we spend time discussing how to influence decisions for more powerful outcomes, the process of which begins with understanding the four basic approaches to decision-making.

1. The “Independent” decision-maker: Quick decisions based on an assessment of the current situation.
2. The “Dependent” decision-maker: Decisions that are based on known instructions, policies and guidelines.
3. The “Supportive” decision-maker: Decisions that are based on supporting the best interests of others.
4. The “Calculated” decision-maker: Fact based decisions supported by evidence and data.

Once you consider that there are different approaches to decision making, it becomes much easier to understand how you can influence the decisions of others both directly and indirectly in order to increase the value of decisions and maximize individual and team productivity?

What about those circumstances where it is unclear as to the decision-making approach of others? In these situations consider the following four questions:

1. What is the information at hand that should be considered and discussed?
2. What facts or data are known about the situation? Have they been discussed?
3. What past practices, procedures or policies should be considered? What is their intent?
4. What might the thoughts or ideas of others who are impacted by the decision be?

Question: How can you influence the decisions of others to increase the productivity within your team? Try this approach and then send me an email at shawn@casemoreandco.com and let me know how it went. I would love to hear from you!

© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.

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