What Business Leaders Can Learn from Biden on Consensus Building

Dr. Louis Perron
blog post louis

Today Monday, the Electoral College will meet virtually and elect the new president of the USA. A lot has been written about how divided and polarized the USA is as a country today. Assuming he will be elected, Joe Biden will indeed face a big challenge in trying to bring the country together. Edward Segal, an expert in crisis management, recently wrote in a piece published by Forbes that Biden can draw on some best practices from the business world. And vice versa. According to Segal, a business or political leader should do the following to build consensus and navigate through difficult times:

  • Listen to what all sides have to say
  • Find and create common ground
  • Set clear priorities on what needs to be done
  • Demonstrate empathy
  • Tell the truth
  • Not cast blame
  • Follow the advice of experts
  • Take swift and decisive action

I would like to add that a leader should not be too focused on talking at the beginning. He or she should first make sure all parties know and believe that he or she is listening. Then, I would advise to bring out the bad news all together. Subsequently, spread out the good news in bits and pieces over a longer period of time.

You can read the full article by Segal on Forbes including my quote here.

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