Are You Committed or Compliant?

Rene' Boer People

What do people in your organization do when decisions don’t go their way? Do they accept the decision even though they disagree with it? Do they demonstrate through their words and actions that they support the decision and that they’re committed to achieving the objective? When communicating inside or outside the organization, do they give the impression that they are completely on board? Do their actions follow their words?

People who are complying do so halfheartedly and take action reluctantly. But, they’re not fooling anyone. Their subordinates and peers know halfhearted support when they see it. Being fully engaged is reflected by commitment to the task at hand. One cannot be a bystander. As the old saying goes “one cannot go over Niagara Falls in a barrel only slightly”.

So, when you’re in a meeting with your team ensure that everyone speaks up and voices concerns before the decision is made. Ensure that each person weighs in. By the way, “I don’t care” is not weighing in. If they don’t have an opinion, you must question why they’re in the room.

Sometimes you must create a little conflict to arrive at commitment. You need commitment, not compliance. Compliers eventually become complainers, especially when the road gets bumpy. They’re the ones that point out (with 20/20 hindsight) that they knew all along that a poor decision was made.

You can enforce compliance but you can’t enforce commitment. Commitment is about positive energy. Compliance? Not so much.