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16 March 2010

Defending your position


Today I had a meeting where a project stakeholder kept on highlighting additional things for us to do.  My instinct is to justify that our existing plan is fine and that his concerns are not a priority.

Of course that instinct is wrong, and I know not to follow it, even though I can still sometimes be drawn into arguments.

I've seen it before with 'masterful programme directors'  doing document reviews and PIRs.  It is simply hard to let feedback wash over you without you wanting to justify yourself.

Of course the substance of the comments are secondary.  And while they may be relevant and important or they may be totally irrelevant you are not going to be able to assess it at the table.

Even more importantly, you'll damage your relationship with the people giving feedback.  They are doing you a favour by offering your their insight. Be gracious under pressure.  You never now what you'll discover.