I agree. I think that sounds right. Sure, we should do that. My sentiment exactly! Except, it’s not so easy to join the action — you know, the things people will ask of you when they see that you agree.
It’s far easier to agree than to take a different position — because that would require explanation, justification or defense.
We may choose to agree because of hierarchy. Why disagree with the boss, your dad, or the president, since there is little future in that anyhow and becoming adversarial won’t help you.
Alternatively, we may agree just because we have not yet formed our own opinion, which is often is the cause of those “I should have said” moments we all end up regretting.
These are all common reasons to agree and do not result in much discomfort, though we may soon forget what we had agreed to. It does make a difference, however, to agree to take action in business without full commitment to doing! Now we are talking about real accountability that can make a difference.
So what makes agreeing easy and doing hard? Doing requires action. Taking action involves a whole host of factors for all of us.
Motivation. Ever have days where it’s just hard to get moving? No motivation, no action.
Confidence. Lack of familiarity with the complexities of the problem. “I don’t know these people,” “I’ve never been through this process before.” “This is harder than I thought.” All such discoveries contribute to lack of confidence. Lack of confidence makes doing difficult.
Fear. The feeling we get when we encounter the thought that we might fail since we are not smart enough, good enough or fast enough. Watch squirrels! First indecision followed by mad scramble finally frozen in place by fear, unable even to get out of the way. We look like that when we are afraid. Fear immobilizes doing.
Overcommitment. It’s caused by saying yes when we should not, failing to prioritize, wanting to be involved in everything results in lower quality performance on everything. Over-committers often fail to get the task done. They, of course, have perfect excuses. Only 24 hours in the day. Too much to do. Things took longer than I thought. Overcommitment results in not doing.
There are many more reasons that make doing hard while agreeing is easy. You may have some of your very own. Think about what motivates you. I can’t write without classical music and a full glass of iced tea and usually not until the afternoon. All that in place and I’m motivated! Reflect on what produces confidence for you. For me, it is gathering information until I have too much. Then I can be confident and start the doing. Understand what you fear and why. Move through fear by facing your tigers one at a time. Soon many of them will be tamed! Agree carefully, and doing will be much easier!