Alan Wilemon on Doubt Mining [Podcast]

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Adam Turteltaub PhotoBy Adam Turteltaub

The compliance team has a new initiative, or you need to tell the business unit that, if it wants to get into a new line of business, a list of compliance requirements need to be implemented. Even if there is no overt pushback, there may be some very severe reservations.

Doubt mining, explains Alan Wilemon (LinkedIn), Head of Privacy at Stellar Health, is about getting people to give feedback about what they are nervous about and what they feel will not work in a project. Put another way, it’s about searching for why they have doubts about the project and whether a goal can be achieved on schedule.

So how do you mine those doubts and identify where the risks are? First, create a safe environment and invite them to speak up. Reach out to project stakeholders first. Then, secondarily, talk to any people who have been spoken for in the meeting. If people are “volunteered” to be a part of the project, talk to them as well.

Also, avoid asking for questions or concerns only at the end of the meeting. At that point many people are eager to leave and won’t say or want to hear anything. And even if people do want to discuss the issue, you will quickly run out of time.

Instead, invite comments earlier and ask them questions such as “Do you think we are being too aggressive?” You need to be the first to admit that there may be issues and the plan could be improved.

Listen in to learn more, and then become a doubt miner.