A Powerful Prioritization Question

Posted on February 8, 2010

Recently, a colleague of mine turned around a situation with her manager by posing a VERY powerful question. She had been struggling with an ever expanding workload due to a senior manager with ambitions that outreached his ability to prioritize. What was this impactful question she posed to her senior leader?

“To be sure I’m not going to conflict with your actions, what are YOU doing to help bring this objective to fruition?”

What a question! It was posed with a focus on her own work effort so it was not directly threatening, yet it brought home the point that he was not treating this latest “great idea” by directing any of his own time towards it. The resulting discussion about the workload that my colleague was trying to manage, along with the priority of items in that workload was significant, setting a direction for her area of the business and her personal agenda.

This also established a tone for future discussions about new initiatives. All it took was one question; one well crafted question, driven by a desire to share information which was delivered with courage, to make a significant difference in the work environment for herself and her organization. A great example of effectively employing intelligent disobedience!

Intelligent Disobedience Leadership provides workshops, coaching and consulting with a focus on courageous leadership through intelligent disobedience. We can help you and your teams design a community of practice which leverages constructive “intelligent disobedience.” For further information, email us at info@intelligentdisobedience.com.