Academic journal article Manager

When Answers Get in the Way

Academic journal article Manager

When Answers Get in the Way

Article excerpt

How often in my role do I find myself eagerly offering people the answers to the problems or projects they are grappling with? I know at such moments that I'm on the hamster wheel, being busy, and only later do I remember that there might have been a different and more effective way in which I could have engaged my colleagues in what they were delivering.

Then, after a recent leadership coaching session, I took stock and considered again how I might be impacting on others. I recognised that if I was going to really develop the people in my team as leaders, then I would have to change my approach. As a result, I made the decision to make time to consciously practice holding back from using my intellect, and giving easy answers, and instead encourage people to show their invention and express their creativity. This of course required me to use much more emotion and belief in order to support and encourage my team. And so, with a particular team project in mind, I purposely avoided giving any answers and instead chose to ask inviting questions and hold these questions long enough for people to emerge with enquiries of their own. The result was transformational. Instead of reacting to my solutions, they discovered the answer themselves after sharing ideas, exploring possibilities and getting excited about the outcomes they might achieve. …

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