“Yeah, But” Is Not An Option To Effect Change

Have you had it with the “yeah, but” excuse?  Me, too!  In decision making, negotiating, or adapting to change, “yeah, but” needs to be removed from the vocabulary.  In order to be an effective leader and respected authority, decisive statements and clear communication is a key element to earn loyalty and credibility and getting results.  This is a lesson that not only needs to be embraced by principals of an organization but, as mentors, it is also our responsibility to assist our team members to learn.

Change is a very difficult thing for most people.  I actually love the thought of it…most of the time!  In most businesses, definitely those within the hospitality industry, change is unavoidable and often unpredictable.  With the flow of people into the business transforming literally every minute the lights are on, to the unexpected needs of those incoming guests, patrons and your employees, and invariably the mechanical breakdowns that come with the territory, if you are not prepared for the unexpected, it is impossible to provide compelling direction to those looking to you for guidance.

And it is not just the “joy” of managing a constantly changing environment, but it is also learning to master both the verbal and physical adaptation, and building the buy-in from your team that will affect your performance in such a world.  Regardless of real or even imagined speed-bumps getting in the way of critical change, our attitude, the power of keen observation, persistence, anticipation, and often a sense of fearlessness can bring a team together and allow for the speed-bump to be virtually undetectable and the outcome to be positive change.

Anticipating change or the need to change is clearly a learned skill, and an important asset in being a great leader.  Being able to adapt comfortably to changing economic conditions, difficult people, systems failures, and the myriad customer needs and expectations is essential to neutralizing resistance and achieving productive change in yourself, others, and your business. 

“Yeah, but” is simply not acceptable reasoning for avoiding change, is it?  When faced with this response, consider asking the question of the conversant, “Why do you think you cannot make or adjust to this change?”  The response should elicit either emotion or rationalization behind the resistance, and will allow you a chance to implement your persuasive techniques through asking questions to clarify whether fear, stubbornness, or simple obstinacy are the causes. 

If you have achieved your own success over the “yeah-buts” you have the skills needed to overcome the roadblock.  Offering support during the process of the change, and using the power of collaborative problem solving, to establish reason behind your need to effect agreeable change can be helpful in moving your opponent to your side of the argument and taking a chance they otherwise might not feel comfortable with.

The negative energy that comes with an individual or group unwilling to adapt can make or break success of an idea, solution to a challenge, or a business in general.  Keep yourself in check and pause before the words are uttered or similar sentiment is expressed, and counsel your team to remove the “yeah-buts” from their vocabulary, and there will be just one less obstacle to hold you and your organization back from the next great achievement!

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