Dirty Little Secret: Dealing With Slow Thinkers.

Last week, I wrote on a situation many of my clients and colleagues encounter daily in their business — Quick Thinkers. An avid follower of my blog, Tim Trent, commented: "I’d love to see you handle the flip side of this one, Rich. It can be worse than impossible to be a quicker thinker than your boss, for example, especially when the solution is so freaking obvious and they just can not see it however carefully you explain it to them!"


You probably find them in the office and out in the marketplace when working with them — I feel it is due to a number of factors:

They are truly gifted.

Work and business is a chess game to them. They want to carefully explore every permutation to ensure every rock is upturned and analyzed. They're the ones who actually hit upon a strategy no one has thought of and they frequently amaze their peers, superiors, clients and vendors.

Unfortunately, these types drive quick thinkers up the wall - it's the nature of the beast.

Solution: Be patient - they might surprise you with their idea.

They aren't in the know.

They might have been good at their job, but they no longer keep abreast of the market and industry. Or they are politically naive about what's going on and tend not to understand the complexities of everyone's personality.

You probably bring more information to the table, but because they aren't in the know, they tend to slow WAY DOWN because they don't trust or understand your line of thinking.

Solution: Educate them slowly. Keep them in the know. Then they will value you.

They are fearful and afraid of everything.

Candidly, I hate these people. They look at every decision, every choice, and every thing they touch as a major life decision. They take forever to make simple decisions and become petulant if you try at all to speed up the process. They shut down conversations at a moment's notice, run to their office, and hide under their desk until the decision has passed.

Since they are governed by fear, their decisions are sometimes based on incorrect data and they sometimes side with the more forceful personalities in their circle (even though you may be right).

Solution: Get a big gun and take them out (just kidding). Try to reason with them. If that doesn't work, place them in the discard pile and work around them.

They are faking it.

This happens more to business owners with clients than in corporate life. People who usually slow down the process due to their introspection are doing it to benefit just one person — themselves. They either are holding back to make you do something different (lower your price, add value, etc.) or wound you politically (hold you from moving forward, hold back info, etc.).

Solution: Be careful — they are dangerous when attacked. Try to figure out why they are acting the way they are and devise alternate strategies to get them to speed up their thinking, go around, or disregard them.


P.S. Are slow thinkers getting your business down? Let's talk. I've had a few clients bring this exact situation up on our calls — and we developed a strategy by the end of our session. If you’re not a client . . . let's talk — I offer two complimentary sessions a month. And they fill up fast!