In a workshop today (I was attending, not conducting) I was part of a group discussion that seemed to be wandering. I spoke up and directed my comments using the information we had been given. Yes, there was a lot we wanted to know but that is part of the point. How to proceed to learn what else you need to know. That’s the point of a case, you get enough to make some decisions and move ahead but not complete information. You know, like real life.

The conversation gravitated toward a few key points that made sense and as I summarized the situation and few recommendations, one woman said “what if the real issue is a power struggle? I’m just being the devil’s advocate.” Sure, be the devil’s advocate but don’t expect to be excused if your idea is weak, irrelevant, off track, or just meant to poke someone.

If you have something to share, then share it. Before you do, think about how it is connected, makes sense or will help the group move toward the objectives. To do that, you have to keep the objectives in mind not merely try to get “air time.”

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