Friday, February 14, 2014

Why Bob Pittman Wants To Hear Dissent

Bob Pittman
When Bob Pittman, chief executive of Clear Channel Communications, is presented with an idea, Vivian Giang at Business Insider writes he will often ask his employees what those who disagree with the idea will say.

“The first time you do that, somebody might say, ‘Well, everybody’s on board.’ Then I’ll say, ‘Well, you guys aren’t listening very well, because there’s always another point of view somewhere and you need to go back and find out what the dissenting point of view is,’”

Pittman told Adam Bryant at The New York Times in an interview last November:  “I don’t want to hear someone say after we do something, ‘Oh, we should have done this.’ “

Pittman says that to really sell your idea, you need to be able to listen carefully to what everyone has to say and take everyone’s opinions into consideration. Especially those who are, or will be, opposed to your way of doing things.

“I want us to listen to these dissenters because they may intend to tell you why we can’t do something, but if you listen hard, what they’re really telling you is what you must do to get something done,” he says. “It gets you out of your framework of the conventions of what you can and can’t do.”

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