Robocalls are the curse of a campaign season. These pre-recorded messages terrorize family time, and usually take two approaches: 1) They attack their opponents and their ideas; and 2) the message attempts to persuade you to make “a better choice”.

As difficult as this is to endure in your home, isn’t it crazy to be subjected to the same strategy at work?

Here’s the elephant in the office: It seems most teams have a robocaller who attends meetings. When a new or innovative idea is offered, the robocaller leans forward and attacks the idea, stating why it won’t work. And then they attempt to persuade (sell) others on their own idea.

This divisive “You’re wrong, I’m right” approach ruins collaboration, teams and results.


Robocalling should be outlawed – beginning at work. The next time you’re in a meeting where people are brainstorming new ideas and the robocaller dials in, don’t answer. Instead:

  1. Acknowledge that you hear them.
  2. Understand they want the same thing you want: to see the organization win.
  3. State clearly what’s important to you and why. For example, “It’s important that we look closely at all ideas not at face value, but for where they may take us and what new ideas they may generate. We must evolve if we expect to succeed.”
  4. Discuss the difference between “why an idea won’t work” vs. “given the circumstances, how could we make that idea work?”
  5. Look for those moments when the robocaller has used their mute button and kept quiet. Privately thank them.

Stop the repetitive pitches that hurt people and results – and allow everyone to win.

Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?



Subscribe to receive these blog posts, select videos and more direct to your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This