Ask Alignor

Why is it important to communicate flexibility when you present your proposal?

There are many good reasons to communicate flexibility when you present a proposal. First, you can create a collaborative, problem-solving atmosphere when you say you are flexible and willing to consider other ideas. Second, you often enhance your counterpart’s commitment to finding a solution with you when you invite that person to suggest more options. Third, you may find that by inviting feedback and suggestions from your counterpart, they may offer good ideas you had not previously considered. Fourth, you can consider your counterpart’s suggestions in the context of an entire package in which it may make sense, for a variety of reasons, to include some of your counterpart’s ideas. Finally, even if your counterpart’s suggestions do not work for you, by considering them openly and explaining how they do not work, you may either encourage further problem solving or influence your counterpart to be more flexible in accepting your proposals.