When you lead digital transformation initiatives or manage change management programs, you are likely to find yourself in meetings that fall off the status-quo cliff. In these meetings, you intentionally or unintentionally catch one or more participants off guard in a way that hits a nerve. You challenged their thinking on a fundamental issue that is important to them, and they responded emotionally to what they perceive as a confrontation or even a threat.
I call these blow-up meetings, and how you respond to the situation can create a pivotal moment in the transformation or change management program. Handle it empathetically and help people to adjust to a new way of thinking, and you create a breakthrough moment that can accelerate your transformation or change management program in the desired direction. Fail to address the emotions and align people in a direction and you may send people home bewildered and require several follow-up sessions to get everyone realigned.