Daily Archives: June 3, 2011

Sitting on the fence can be hazardous to your health

Do you sit on the fence or do you take a position?

I hate it when I see someone in a situation and they can’t make a decision, , , or give you specific feedback to your question.

Sitting on the fence is unacceptable.

It’s OK to say, “I don’t know.” That’s acceptable and takes a position, , , albeit a neutral “don’t know” position.

It’s not OK to hum haw around and talk but say nothing and not take a position when someone asks you about something. A simple, “I don’t know.” will suffice, thank you.

You may think it is the safe thing to avoid taking a position, but I believe it causes you to lose credibility. Senior executives want your position on things, , , even if it’s an “I don’t know.” If they ask you a question they want your input, not a bunch of rhetoric that ends up telling them nothing.

Do this a few times and you will discover senior management asks for your opinion less and less.

Have you ever asked for input and the person talks a lot but doesn’t say anything? I hate it when this happens, , , as do most executives.

As a manager, your job is to get something that’s gray to black or white. Instead of sitting on the fence about an issue, your job is to determine if it needs to be on one side or the other.

Get the issue to one side of the fence and you can move forward. We don’t make progress when we are “on the fence”. Even if you make a mistake and take the issue to the wrong side, you can correct the mistake and move forward.