One Issue at a Time

A good debate is enjoyable, particularly if there is a sincere intent to identify common areas of agreement. One thing you don’t want present is the The Know It All. Yet, there is another thing that can make this difficult to practice; failure to discuss one issue at a time.

Are We All on the Same Page?

Next time you are in a business discussion and there seems to be a great deal of difficulty forming a consensus, take a moment to examine the dialogue. Let’s say you are trying to convince your company’s Sale Manager of the need to lower the cost of existing product lines to improve margins. In turn, he or she is continuing to push for adding a new product line. These are two different issues, yet it is amazing how someone cannot get off of one issue to hear the other person.

Halt and Restart

If the above scenario is happening, be willing to suggest a halt to the conversion, point out that these are two different subjects, and suggest addressing one issue at a time. Why? Simply put, as long as each person is focused on something different from the other, there is little chance of finalizing a decision on anything. Come to an agreement on one thing at a time.


If need be, offer to defer your issue and first resolve the other person’s.

What if the Two are Related?

Suppose the two issues are related. That still does not mean you cannot place most of the focus on one first and then move on to the other. It is a little bit like multi-tasking. While many people claim they can multi-task, they really are just moving back and forth from one thing to another. That may be just fine for many things, but when we are seeking agreement on issues, multi-tasking is generally a losing strategy. Instead, focus on one issue at a time to resolve it, and then move on to the next one.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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