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What to do when you dissent.

I can just picture it; a young Anne Miner sitting at the boardroom table with the advertising agency's account management and creative team, as well as the client contact. The client had suggested an approach that Anne did not agree with. She thought she had argued her position quite persuasively; it was simple, practical, logical, and defensible. But, the client wanted what they wanted.

So, there she sat with her eyebrows pulled down and her bottom lip sticking out a

wee bit. I know that look very well! Anne was not happy.

A few minutes went by as Anne contemplated her options. Then the door flew open and in walked Bob, the President of the agency. He had been walking by and noticed the solemn faces through the window.

Bob suggested that the team take a break then he stepped around the table and sat down next to Anne. "Why the long face?" he inquired.

Bob listened carefully as Anne quickly explained the situation; she was offended that her expertise was not being respected and that her knowledge was being invalidated.

Bob nodded. then asked three questions:

  • "Have you given them your best advice?"

  • "Have you put it in writing?"

  • "Are you willing to walk away?"

When Anne answered "Yes" to each question, Bob nodded some more, slowly.

Then he said, "Now you have to decide what you are going to do. There are only two options:

  1. "You can walk away, and we will pay someone else to do the work - the way the client wants it, OR

  2. Having spoken your advice and documented your rationale, you can do what they want. You will get paid to do the work, and when it doesn't provide the result the client is looking for, you might just get paid again to do the work the way you have recommended."

"It's that simple."

And, with that, Bob shook Anne's hand and left the room.

Shortly, the other team members returned and Anne gave them her decision.

What would you have done? I would love to hear from you dear reader - which option would you have chosen?


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