A reader asked, “When working with senior managers that come from a ‘command and control’ background, how do you work with them on the power of involvement of more of the employees in the planning process?”

That’s a great question! If I had the magic answer I’d be the Bill Gates of the training and consulting industry! It’s hard to give a specific answer to a very broad question. We do run into this problem quite often. Here are a few approaches we may use depending upon the situation:

Have them review the Emotional Intelligence research in order to reach their heart through their head – you can watch video short clips of me explaining some of this work.

Foundation of all Leadership is Self-Leadership

The Leader’s Mood Impacts the Group

Looking in the Mirror Takes Courage

Why Overly Technical Managers Often Fail

Secondly, make a link between what’s keeping them awake at night (productivity, cost control, revenue growth, innovation, retention, absenteeism, teamwork, etc.) with a more participative approach that gets at these “soft issues”

Help them understand the management-leadership balance and how command and control is only one half of the equation.

You can also view some video on finding the right performance balance:

The Performance Balance: Technology, Management, and Leadership

Managing Things and Leading People

Management Team Exercise on Finding the Right Balance

Looking in the Management Mirror is Really Tough to Do

You can also review articles on this at http://www.clemmer.net/articles/subject_2.aspx.

Review some of the research on the pay-offs of a more participative approach. Watch a very short video on this in the “Passion and Commitment” subsection of Timeless Leadership Principles.

Passion and Commitment

Chapter Five on “Passion and Commitment” in The Leader’s Digest is full of stories and statistics on this.