...You’re Getting Mixed Messages
What to say when you're getting mixed messages. So here's the situation. There are multiple people involved in the project you're working on and you're getting mixed messages, and you don't know who to listen to. Here's what you may be thinking and shouldn't say. "Is anyone is charge here?" Here's a solution. Get group consensus. As soon as this starts, pull the group together to discuss it. Explain the problem and try to get a group consensus. At the end of the meeting or conference call, ask the question outright, "Who owns this decision going forward?" It will make you look super organized and the group will feel better for having all been involved to hear the feedback at the same time. So here's what you could say. With curiosity. "Are you aware that the other person "is also telling me what to do "and giving me different instructions? "I think we need a meeting to figure this out together." Or, "I need you two to decide "whose decision is the final one." With generosity. "I'm goin...
g to take the liberty "of calling a quick meeting, "so we can discuss this together "to make sure we're all on the same page." Or, with humility. "I don't know whose instructions to follow "and I'm getting confused. "I'm looking for the most "cost-effective way of moving forward. "I think a quick call or meeting could resolve it." Or, humor. "Too many cooks in the kitchen. "Let's meet to discuss. "I'll bring the cookies." So the overarching idea here is that projects and teams usually work best when there is one point of contact and decision maker. But if that person is not designated, things will be chaotic, which makes for errors and miscommunication. So instead of waiting passively for them to resolve it, think about what you have the power to do to limit the potential for any problems resulting from those mixed messages. Being proactive the very first time you receive mixed messages or are not sure who the decision maker is can save the project. Make sense?