• Tara Humphrey

Project Fundamentals | Valuing Different Viewpoints

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

For those of us that are consultant’s, project managers, team leaders, head of departments or in a business development position, our role requires us often to facilitate a discussion, present the opportunity, plan, scope, action and keep the momentum moving in the right direction. 

While we may have a deeper knowledge than a generalist and can confidently converse and ask appropriate questions,  at various points in this process, we will need to acknowledge when to call on the expertise of the wider team and those who the change will be directly affecting. 

I believe we have all been part of change programmes when the end user, is more often than not part of the discussion but more often this isn’t intentional? 

Fear, lack of clarity, perceived time constraints, assumptions that proposed solutions are simple are often unspoken reasons why we do not extend the invitation to ask people to work with us.

So…. if you want to give your project the best opportunities to succeed: 

1.    Be humble enough to acknowledge that you do not have all the answers. 

2.    You need to include the end user and the earlier, the better.

3.    In your initial approach, rather than send them an email in the first instance. Talk to them face to face and explain why you want their help and why you value their opinion. If they say no, be resilient, use your network and see who else can help you. 

4.    Ask your patients, administrators, receptionists, cleaners and that person who may be perceived to operate on the edge of your organisation. These insights will be fascinating.

5.    You may need to canvas a wide range of views at various points of the process. Focus groups and surveys are ways of obtaining these. 

6.    Do not appoint a team of yes people. You need creative conflict to devise solutions which consider all basis.  In the book the ‘Creators Code’ by Amy Wilkinson, Amy stresses the importance of networking minds and harnessing cognitive diversity to build on each other’s ideas. 

Get creative, get talking and value everyone’s viewpoint.

A word from the author

These blogs aim to inspire, provide you with some practical advice and to share ideas that support your working life. Test the advice and see what works for you. Visit us at https://www.thcprimarycare.co.uk/blog and our catalogue of blogs on change management, leadership and Community Education Provider Networks (CEPNs)