Been Blindsided? How to Learn from the Experience

blindsided at work

If you’ve ever been blindsided in a work environment you’ll know the feeling of disappointment, frustration and utter disbelief. In this blog we share some tips on how to avoid being blindsided at work and how to be the driver of change in your organisation.

How to take advantage of getting blindsided at work and learning from the experience!

Recently a client called me to tell me that a software system they had poured years of blood, sweat and tears into was going to be replaced by an inferior system… she was totally blindsided!  The system was working brilliantly, she’d met all her department KPIs and the software was instrumental in achieving the team’s goals.

Unfortunately an adjacent department was implementing a new strategy. This included the introduction of a new software system, which in turn offers reduced features for her department. So, without much input from other areas of the organisation, the adjacent department lobbied to introduce it and subsequently REPLACED her system.

So what’s the learning here? How could she have influenced the adjacent department to re-think their decision?

Firstly… it’s important to arrange a meeting with the other department and get to the root cause of the problem they are trying to address. It’s easy to assume they are being selfish, but the reality is that they have a problem.  If you can find out more about the issue, then you have a better chance of influencing any future decision – why?  Because you can find common ground between you and them!  Common ground is the cornerstone of negotiation and getting win-win results.  It helps all parties feel more connected.

Secondly… Highlight the impacts. It’s important to identify the effects the other department’s decision will have on your department. Also consider how the changes may affect other areas of the business including theirs. Highlighting the issues that affect EVERYBODY involved, particularly common stakeholders in both your department and theirs will provide more leverage for discussion.

Thirdly… Learn for the future. Most people focus on getting their day-to-day urgent or critical tasks done first. This makes sense, but people simply don’t see that ‘influencing others on a “proactive” basis’ is more critical to success.

Consider some proactive actions…

  • Are you spending time regularly understand other departments challenges/strategies and desires?
  • Are you thinking ‘system-wide’ when you make decisions?
  • Are you highlighting areas in which your department can make changes that affect the whole company?
  • Are you spending time (perhaps one hour per week) connecting with other departments and influencers in your organisation?

Be an influencer and drive change in your organisation. Here are our three tips to help you drive change…

  1. Find 3 people in your organisation that are influential and spend 30 minutes with them each month.
  2. Ask them how they get strategic things accomplished at your workplace and learn from it.
  3. Share an idea you have with them and ask for their input.

Implement these actions and rather than being blindsided, you will be driving change in your organisation and achieving more, and most likely feel less stressed whilst doing it.

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