Diplomatic correction of "official" version of events--how?
January 25, 2013 7:19 PM Subscribe
I am going to be present at a meeting in which a group of us will be asked to make a decision based on a document with misleading information in it. I would like some advice on how to present the correct version of events without being insubordinate or seeming to call my higher-ups liars.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am part of a group who will be asked to make a confidential decision regarding a particular situation. We all received a document from a senior official outlining the history of the situation. On this committee, I represent a specific group of stakeholders, and I will have a vote. On reading the document ahead of time, I see a description of what happened that glosses over certain aspects of the situation and, in one case, attributes actions to one group of stakeholders that actually should be attributed to another group. I have witnesses and proof, but because this is a closed meeting, the witnesses aren't supposed to know that the discussion or vote is happening, and they are not allowed to attend in any case. So the evidence to the contrary would basically be me saying, "This is not true and I have people who will back me up...who aren't allowed to be present right now."
The briefing document will be the only familiarity that the majority of the committee has with the situation, and it will inform how they vote. The majority of them are external to my organization, but they provide oversight.
I need to correct the version of events, but I need advice on how to do it diplomatically, as the people who wrote the document are my superiors (and they will be present at this meeting). They are not my direct supervisors, but they are senior to me. I have some power and authority at my job, but not compared to the people who wrote the document. I think that the committee on the whole respects me and my point of view--I am viewed as quite reliable and credible as an individual. However, the stakeholder group I represent is sometimes seen as a "special interest group," and in general, the most credibility is granted to the senior officials without much questioning. (I am basing this on my observations during past meetings.)
How do I raise this issue diplomatically? How do I provide a correction to the events without creating a shitstorm (if this is possible), and without being able to immediately produce witnesses to back me up? NOTE: I cannot acquire a written copy of this evidence ahead of time, because the topic of this meeting is confidential and I cannot tell the witnesses that it is happening.
How do I do this without looking like I am calling my higher-ups a bunch of liars?