Spock Logic or McCoy Compassion – where should we start?

What should we do when we are asked to help someone develop their project, and we really don’t like what we see?

Top to bottom, wall to wall the project just seems to be full of problems.  To our eye it seem poorly conceived, badly executed and almost pre-destined to fail.

Where should we start?

Well the classic ‘expert’ approach is to diagnose the problems and put them on the table.  We confront them with the reality of the situation as WE see it.  If our relationship is strong enough and our credibility is robust they might just take it on board.  But more often than not what we get is denial, and shown the door.

Because this is a person who has taken their very best shot, using the resources they have available to make something happen. It is as if they had shown us a photo of their children and we respond by rattling through a list of their obvious deficiencies ‘bad skin’, ‘overweight’, ‘terrible dress sense’ and ‘awful smile’.  We might be trying to help, but….

…this IS their baby….

So, when someone shows us their idea and asks us to help, and we see it as full of flaws where should we start?

By pointing out ‘the obvious’ or rolling up our sleeves and helping?

What will really help?

Spock’s logic or McCoy’s compassion?

 

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