When a new idea is proposed to your team, it’s not enough to assume they are committed to the outcome.
Once your proposal has gone through the first four of the 5Cs Alignment process: Clarifications, Compliments, Concerns, and Changes, your Probe Step is complete.
You now have all you need to formulate a good re-proposal that integrates all the feedback shared thus far.
The re-proposal step provides a clear picture of how the views of the group have led to a better proposal that can now be finalized.
Through integrating their feedback into the re-proposal their commitment level increases automatically. It’s still an important step to test the commitment levels.
The re-proposal should include the ideas that most resonated with the group, not everything that everyone expressed. Lean toward those ideas shared by decision-makers, informed experts, and those responsible for implementing solutions.
Once the re-proposal is on the table, you are ready to test for the fifth C—Commitment—and achieve the level of agreement and action you desire.
Ideally, in the commitment phase, the proposal gets a “Yes!” from everyone involved. That said, not every decision or plan requires an all-in level of Commitment from every decision-maker and stakeholder. Sometimes a lesser level of agreement is enough to move forward.
The holy grail of alignment is to get everyone to the highest level of agreement possible. And I don’t mean “I can live with it,” agreement. I mean “YES, let’s do this!” Commitment.
No matter what level of agreement you are shooting for, you need to read the room accurately and get each person to fully express their Commitment level. Don’t just take nodding heads as a sign of Commitment. Instead, run a Commitment test.
I recommend that you use a way for people to verbally and physically show Commitment. This is a much better way to seal the deal than just asking, “So, is everybody in?”
Using our body to signal our level of Commitment engages whole-body intelligence, which holds wisdom that our brains do not. In an informal alignment session, you can test Commitment by asking a question like, “On a scale of one to ten, how excited are you about this proposal?” This question can provoke thinking, especially when followed up by a question like, “What can we do to make it a ten for you?”
When working with a larger group, it is helpful to use a more efficient process to test the Commitment level of the group. My favorite method is called “Fist to Five” polling.
To learn the method and tools of The Art of Alignment to increase commitment in your team, schedule a free strategy session with one of my team to create an alignment plan for your company.
Or join our next Certified Alignment Leader Program in the fall for live action coaching on real life business issues and challenges.