Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Ask your employees to speak first—then add your perspective.

If you’re discussing something with an individual employee, or as a team, and someone raises an issue, idea, or strategy that you have personal feelings about, or experience with, you may want to consider providing the opportunity for your employees to offer and discuss ideas—before you offer your opinion or perspective.

Regardless of how well you may be regarded as a manager or leader, voicing your opinion too early in the game may impact or even squelch the input of others. It’s sometimes easy to forget the influence you have on others when you’re in a leadership position, and how that influence can shift the direction of a team discussion or decision. If you’re asked for input at the onset of a discussion, or if the situation calls for your input, you might acknowledge that you’d like to hear a few ideas before commenting. And then give the person, or the team, the opportunity to contribute freely.

This approach is beneficial for a number of reasons. Opening up discussion gives you the opportunity to witness or experience more dynamics among your team. You may learn more about an individual employee’s approach or capabilities to strategize and negotiate. Listening before offering your input provides the opportunity for more brainstorming which may launch more creative ideas and approaches, and more ownership among the team.

As leaders we know that we have a significant impact on business outcomes. What we may need to remember is that we also have a significant impact on the day-to-day dynamics, effectiveness, and potential of our teams.



  Joseph Manhede wrote @

This has definitely changed my approach from today.

  donnarawadyblog wrote @

Joseph, how nice to see you here. Hope all’s well and glad to hear you found this helpful.

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