The first thing my new boss explained to me on my first day was that my top priority was managing the production of the new advertising campaign – and getting it on air for Thanksgiving. When he showed me the shooting boards, my heart dropped. The advertising was terrible.
Fortunately, I resisted my natural instincts to prove to him how smart I was (and how dumb everyone else was) and went into question mode.
“May I see the strategy?”
The advertising hit the mark on benefit and support. The gap was in its character.
“Are you sure this advertising is in line with this character?”
“You know, that had been bothering me too.”
We scrapped the advertising together, started over together, missed Thanksgiving together, and ended up with advertising that made a material difference to the business in a way that built our relationship.
This approach to a disagreement with a decision is go back up the logic chain to the point at which you all agree. Then trace the steps back down the chain to the point of disagreement. If the other person changes his or her mind, great. If not, do it their way. Any argument you win in your early days is likely to be a Pyrrhic victory. Instead of trying to win, find ways to help others be right, get right or stay right.