• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Managing a waffler

When hard opinions turn soft

by on
in Leaders & Managers

Wafflers constantly change their minds and give wishy-washy answers to even the most simple fact-finding questions. Unless you’re dealing with a seasoned politician—where waffling often comes naturally—such ambivalence hardly instills confidence.

To hold a waffler accountable, try these techniques:

Put it in writing. When you sift through your employee’s fuzzy remarks and stumble upon a reasonably clear answer, write it down. The act of committing someone’s comments to paper lends an air of finality. You may even want to send a confirmation memo to the waffler that concisely summarizes the “hard” information you extracted from the conversation.

Wait ’em out. Wafflers master the art of stalling. When asked a point-blank question, they hem and haw and test your patience to the point where you eventually jump in with your views and redirect the conversation away from them. Don’t fall for this trick. When you pose a question, wait in silence for them to respond. Even as they stop and start over and continually shift gears, don’t interrupt. When they’re finally finished, focus on the most concrete thing they’ve just said and run with it.

Repeat questions. Let’s say you want a waffler to buy into your proposal. Ask them, “Would you wholeheartedly support this plan?” Their first answer will probably offer some vague or conditional support.

Your response: Ask the identical question again, this time addressing their reservations. “Would you wholeheartedly support this plan if your points about confidentiality and cost were fully addressed?” Continue along this line of questioning until they exhaust their qualifications and finally give a yes/no answer.

Try not to lose your cool with a waffler. Some people are deliberate thinkers who do not like to express opinions without careful, even plodding analysis. If you give them time to work around all sides of an issue, then their vacillating may not be in vain.

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/26385/managing-a-waffler "

Related Articles...

    No matches

Leave a Comment