Leadership Nudge 92 – Say Tell Me About Not Tell Me Why
One of the hardest things for a leader to do is to decide whether or not to let their people fail.
For instance, one of your team members comes to you and says, “I intend to . . .turn left.” You’re pretty sure that’s the wrong thing to do. What do you do? You need to make a decision about whether to let them do that or not.
Step 1: Ask them questions.
Step 2: Use the information they have to make your decision.
Assume in this particular case that they may be right. Do your best to wipe your mind free of preconceived notions. Create a mindset that is open and curious and ask them about that decision. When you ask those questions, try to stay away from the word “why.” Don’t say “Why do you want to do that?” Instead say “Tell me about this.” “Tell me about” is less provocative and it will feel to them like they’re competence is not being challenged. They will be more open to simply telling you about the issue and then you can make the decision about whether or not you’re going to let them do it.
My leadership nudge to you this week is this:
The next time some one comes up to you with an idea that you don’t think is quite right, don’t assume you’re right and they’re wrong. Create an open mindset, be curious, and say “Tell me about,” then decide whether or not you’re going to let them do it.
Let us know how it goes!
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