Juggling Sheep
Welcome to Juggling Sheep, Jay Perry's blog about time management and personal productivity for pastors. Learn to balance work, life, family, and personal spirituality.

Share your best practices, tips and tricks, processes, sermon planning ideas, and resources. Feel free to email me: jaylperry[at]gmail[dot]com.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Present a Rough-[almost final]-Draft

Because churches are volunteer organizations, and because they are run by committee, and because the church will be there long after you leave - you NEED buy-in. In fact, buy-in may be one of the most important commodities in a congregation. If there's no buy-in, you're just spinning your tires.

As a young pastor, I wanted to look professional in front of my board. I wanted them to believe me and trust me. I wanted them to like my proposals and vote them unanimously!

And it worked. They trusted me. They believed I had thought through all the issues in advance. They liked my proposals. And they voted them through unanimously!

But there was a problem. No buy-in. My early proposals were so slick, so convincing that they actually prevented me from getting buy-in. They liked the idea; they voted it through. But nobody else had wrestled with it. Nobody had made it their own. Nobody else was willing to go out on a limb to actually make it happen.

So here's my little lifehack for getting buy-in in meetings. It's not an efficient way of ramming through your agenda, but it is an effective way of getting collaboration and buy-in. It doesn't look terribly professional, but it works.

When you're about to make a proposal, create a document that is your best work. Then mark it up, cross something out, and make notes on the sides. Copy that and hand it out. People will see it as a work in progress - a rough draft. They'll read what you've crossed out. They'll automatically start brainstorming with you toward a better idea. They'll automatically assume ownership.

Poof! It becomes theirs. It becomes collaborative. Buy-in has been achieved.

2 comments:

Justin Lewis-Anthony said...

...and this will work brilliantly as long as the minister is mature enough to allow his idea to be changed/developed/extended, and not to be protective about the "best work" he's done.

Really good idea though. Nothing happens in a church community unless there is a tipping-point of ownership

gtdfrk said...

That's a really good idea! I can't wait to try this in my line of work :) Thanks for the inspiration...

-gtdfrk