Utilize your limited time and resources wisely by testing if arguments qualify as objections and only acting on those that do.
When someone raises an argument for changing something, check that the argument reveals how leaving things unchanged will – or could — lead to consequences you want to avoid, or that it informs you of a worthwhile way to improve how to go about achieving your objectives.
Explore and refine each argument as necessary to identify any misconceptions or misunderstanding, and to eliminate aspects of the argument that are based merely on assumptions, or a personal preference or opinion. If you establish that what remains of the argument qualifies as an objection, then go on to resolve the objection.
To discover if an argument qualifies as an objection in a group context, a facilitator can invite reflection by asking:
“Do you think this argument qualifies as an objection?”
If no one disagrees, treat the argument as an objection. In case of disagreement, invite a dialogue to discover if an objection is revealed by the argument.
Some helpful questions:
- How does the argument relate to this specific proposal or agreement?
- Does the argument reveal how a (proposed or current) activity or agreement:
- harms response to any organizational driver?
- can be improved right now?
- prevents or diminishes someone’s contribution towards responding to a driver?
- is in conflict with the organization’s values?
- is considered not ‘safe enough’ to try?