The Challenge Of Presenting A Case

All leaders need to demonstrate courage, but as this quote suggests, some leaders may need to demonstrate more courage than others!

To present your case you need to be mindful of the challenges you face. What kind of organisation are you working in?

This simplistic framework can help you to start thinking about your strategy for presenting your case.  For example, you may choose to present your case to a team or at a management meeting if your workplace likes, and is positive, about challenge. Even though some resistance will be raised against your ideas (it always does), you will be able to outline your case and engage in discussions that are meaningful and productive. Where challenge is less welcome, you may want to start discussions with colleagues in less intimidating settings, so that you can build support.  Resistance in some settings can be deeply embedded, and persuading others to support you will be a necessary pre-requisite for any challenge.

How to challenge others

Finlay (2015) has identified 10 key principles in psychotherapy that can help you to think about how to effectively challenge others.

The 10 principles have been adapted for use when presenting your case:

  1. You must believe in the value of challenge.
  2. You need to challenge relationally (i.e. present ideas as they can trust you to enable them to be    able to cope with them.)
  3. Your challenge needs to be in the interest of others, and not for self-interest.
  4. You need to empathise with the position of those you are seeking to challenge.
  5. You need to be proportionate (i.e. challenge people with what they can cope with.)
  6. You need to be respectful when you challenge and give feedback.
  7. You need to demonstrate self-challenge.
  8. You need to focus attention on unused strengths in yourself and others.
  9. You need to keep your challenge light humoured.
  10. You need to be open to challenge from others.
Langworth, R (2011). Success: What Churchill REALLY said
Finlay, L (2015). Relational Integrative Psychotherapy: Process and Theory in Practice Chichester, Sussex; Wiley
Winston Churchill speech (1900). South Africa, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria


Further Resources