In this transcript, Clay Clark (Founder of Thrive15.com and Business Coach Speaker) talks with David Robinson (2-time NBA Champion and Admiral Capital Fund co-founder) about customer service training and decision making on Thrive15.com!
Clay: Maybe this didn’t happen in your meetings, but I’m just curious because I know a lot of small business owners deal with this. What they do is they have a great discussion …take it from a business coach.
David: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Clay: … and this guy over here is passionate about this; she’s passionate about that. You as the chairman or the boss of the small business or the company, you make a decision. You say, you know what, I appreciate your point and your point, but I am going to go with this decision. Learn what you need to know from a Thrive15.com business coach.
Clay: Thank you for your feedback, and you’re ready to move on …
Clay: … but this person over here, is like, “Aw, phfft, phfft, shhh,” like, they’re just unable to respect the decision that was made, and they just, “Phfft,” or whatever. I don’t even know why I bring it up, that sort of stuff.
Clay: How do you deal with that sort of behavior? Do you wait until after the meeting and talk to them privately or what do you do, because I know that’s a source of discord in a lot of meetings?
Clay: What do you do when one person doesn’t respect the decision was made …
Clay: … after a discussion. What do you do there?
David: That’s going to happen at times.
Clay: Okay says the business coach.
David: I mean, and again, we always go back to pattern. If that is a pattern, then maybe that’s someone that doesn’t need to be on your board …
Clay: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
David: … because, number one, you’re not taking his advice very often because he’s frustrated; so you don’t respect what he’s saying or you don’t think he has the right expertise. Or clearly, he’s not aligned with what you’re doing, so if it’s a pattern, then we need to deal with that a different way.
David: Maybe that person doesn’t need to be there. Now if it’s one particular time, you would be shocked how much personal touch makes a difference. If you go and sit with that person and talk with them and say, “You know, I’m so glad you brought that out and I know we had to go a different direction today, but we’re certainly going to keep an eye on this and I always want your opinion.” That goes a long ways in quelling some of that distress. People don’t like to feel disrespected, especially the people you’re going to have in meetings, which are important.
Everyone feels important. Everyone feels like their opinion is, in their own organization or in their own place, is law. People don’t like to feel like their either wrong or being discounted, so as a person who’s running a meeting, it is important that you stay connected with that person and make them understand that we’re not discounting what you’re saying. We’re having to make a decision and we have to move forward, but I appreciate what you’re bringing to the table.
Clay: You are a guy who’s likable. People that I know, who have said David Robinson, he is so likable. Wow, he is just such a nice guy. Now, I mention that because being likable and sometimes being liked in a meeting are not necessarily the same thing. I mean, sometimes you make a decision that not a lot of people agree with …
Clay: … and you have to just go with it.
Clay: If we go back to your NBA days and you come in, you say guys, here’s the deal. Moving forward. We are not going to listen to this kind of music.
David: I wasn’t always liked in the locker room.
Clay: Okay, and you say we’re just not going to go with this kind of music anymore.
Clay: This kind of music is not tolerated anymore because this is not how we’re going to do it. We’re going to do things the right way.
Clay: I’m just going to make up a scenario, but maybe 4 or 5 guys are like, “Phfft,” whatever. You’re out of touch, man, or whatever. Do you care? Do you leave that locker room going, man, I really wished they liked me. Or how do you process that emotion of knowing that you’re not liked at that given moment?
David: I care that they’re disappointed with me, but if I really know that it’s in the best interest of the organization, if it’s in the best interest of that locker room, then I have to deal with it. I just move forward. In a locker room, it’s similar to running a business, but in the locker room, if I’m the leader, if I’m the captain of the team, if I’m the man in that locker room, then I’m responsible for how this team goes.
When we lose, the media is not going to attack the guy that’s sitting on the bench. They’re not going to attack the guy that plays 5 minutes a game; they’re going to attack me. I know whose neck is on the line when we lose, and so all the pieces that I feel like going into building a great team, are my responsibility. I make the best decision I can given my information at the moment. In a scenario like that, those guys will have to respect my authority. I’m not trying to push my authority down their throats, but if that is something that I feel is critical for the growth of that team, I need to do it. Do I lose sleep over the fact that they’re not happy? No, but yes, I care because I don’t want them to feel disenfranchised. I don’t want them to feel disconnected to what’s going on.