The pattern and anti-pattern around justification. Its hard when you are talking about an idea to accept that others don’t always see what you see.
Even though we are speaking the link to our vision is what we are talking about. Which brings me to an interesting communications pattern and the resulting anti-pattern.
The pattern is an open communications style that invites crisis. The anti-pattern is the justification anti-pattern. I call the pattern the facilitator and when you find one that drives to the pattern in front of an audience treasure them. Nurture them and let them lead your meetings!
You know someone is operating in the facilitator pattern when they ask you for direct feedback. They will do this regardless of the situation you are in. Crowd of people they will ask you, one on one they will ask you.
The vacillator is the one person in a group or on a team that you want at the whiteboard. They won’t become a dancing bear with the colored pens and dominate the meeting. They will create a stronger meeting. You want this person talking in front of the audience. You want them sharing ideas and concepts. It becomes a strong meeting with the vacillator running it.
Now the anti-pattern is very interesting. First because unlike some of the other patterns out there this one is selective.
The facilitator anti-pattern can be in a room of people and be a vacillator to 10, but one of them the facilitator heads to the anti-pattern the justifier. They switch and with one or sometimes people in the room they justify not only their decisions but the why they were right then and are still right now.
Its is a really hard pattern to get around because you never know when that switch is flipped. It is a pattern that you want in front of the audience. You want them driving your meeting. 90% of the time there is significant value in what they build and deliver. Stepping in and removing them when they slip into the anti-pattern is risky.
What do you do when someone you want leading a meeting because of the pattern they represent slips into the justification mode? Do you remove them or the person they feel they have to justify their actions for? It is the most difficult situation you will face in trying to run the communication styles in a meeting.