What if the team makes a bad decision despite advice to the contrary?

On the one hand, we need to defer to the team. On the other hand, we have a professional responsibility.

Importantly, there is now a conflict. Doing well in conflict means being prepared and fighting fairly.

At the moment the team decides against our advice, our automatic response might be outrage: "this is outrageous... how can we make such a decision..." Do not express those feelings. That will not help your cause and will only alienate.

Instead, make a personal resolution to follow up later after preparing your case for a different decision. These are the steps I take.

  1. Write down the decision of concern.
  2. Set a date to raise the concern.
  3. Prepare a concise memo about the concern that includes the chosen alternative, the other alternatives, and the pros and cons of each.
  4. On the chosen date, send the memo to the team.

Sometimes, I end up sending the memo. Other times, I end up noticing that the decision is not as bad as I initially thought. In either case, I have behaved responsibly.