IDEAS FOR LEADERS: Kill The Yahbot

Kill The Yahbot

An original post from: Andy Nulman

Here’s what’s been driving me crazy lately:

The “Yahbot.”

The Yahbot is a creature that’s been infiltrating way too many of my meetings these days.  The Yahbot is a stone-deaf, loudmouth pain in the (you know where).

The Yahbot, to better explain, is that time in a professional (or personal…it doesn’t discriminate) encounter when the other side reacts to one of your statements with a sledgehammer:

“Yeah, but…”

I hate the damn Yahbot.

In essence it means “I agree with you, however…”

What it REALLY means though, is “I disagree.” Or more likely, “I don’t care what you say.  Here’s my opinion.”

Now I’m a big boy.  I’ve been in business for well over three decades.  I can take criticism.  I can take a “no.”  In fact, I kinda relish both; they bring out the fight, make me stand up for what I believe in, and show me another side that I wouldn’t have normally seen.

But the Yahbot is way worse than criticism.  It’s a dismissal of your point; a waiting game for the other side’s turn to make theirs.  It’s a “I kinda hear some noise emanating from you, but I choose not to actually listen to it.”

Now maybe I’m too anal when it comes to semantics.  But by actually listening to and taking an interest in the message, the Yahbot can be defeated by saying:

“I agree with your point…and here’s a way I see to improve it.”
(If you agree, there is no “but.”)

or

“I disagree…and think we should do (whatever) instead.”
(If there’s a “but,” you don’t agree.)

Walk down the path together, or face your crossroads.  Either way, you kill the Yahbot…

…which brings to life better communications, better teamwork and better decisions.

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