Vannoy and Ross


“Every team wants to move forward. Yet, some teams are plagued by an affliction called “the slows.” Besides mediocre results, the language these teams use provide evidence they might be lying to themselves and others.


Accelerators – people who are forward focused – recognize the lies listed below, and respond with forward-focused questions so the truth can be addressed, and the team can advance.


1)      The lie: “We don’t have the budget.” What they’re really saying: “We don’t have creative solutions.” What the Accelerator asks: “How do we build upon our greatest strengths in this area?”

2)      The lie: “We need to hold people accountable.” What they’re really saying: “We need a culture of compliance and fear, because I haven’t been able to co-create mutual ownership of this project upfront with my team.” What the Accelerator asks: “What do we do, say and ask now to ensure greater accountability later?”

3)      The lie: “We can’t do that.” What they’re really saying: “We’re choosing not to explore more creative options.” What the Accelerator asks: “How do we break this idea down and begin to make it work?”

4)      The lie: “They just don’t understand.” What they’re really saying: “I’m a victim – and am driving a wedge in our ‘one-team’ organization.” What the Accelerator asks: “What’s our responsibility in this situation?”

5)      The lie: “Our jobs are so complex it’s hard to get any work done.” What they’re really saying: “I am losing my self-discipline and making things harder than they have to be.” What the Accelerator asks: “What aspects of this project can we control, and which should we focus on first?”

The Accelerator understands that people don’t want to lie – and most don’t realize they are. And it’s everyone’s job to support the team in telling the truth – not by calling out liars, but by asking forward-focused questions.



What surprising results have you created by using forward-focused questions? Please share your thoughts and comments below.

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