Does this sound familiar? The team is brainstorming with the boss and she says, “That’s a great idea but…” She can’t resist adding her 2 cents. I see it happen in team building sessions and it completely changes the direction of the discussion. The team learns that the boss doesn’t value their ideas so they won’t waste time coming up with any. They also aren’t nearly as enthusiastic about implementing her ideas as they would be their own.
It’s Not About You
I have a client who is almost always the smartest person in the room. It is really difficult for him to wait for his team members to figure things out on their own. Once he realized that giving them the answer inhibited their learning and development, he took a different approach. He practiced asking questions that helped them see different perspectives and possibilities and allowed them to learn from their mistakes. Without jeopardizing the business, he gave them the freedom they needed to come up with their own ideas.
Try This Instead
The more senior you are in the organization, the more important it is to help others be successful. How can you be sure you’re doing that?
• Stop before you speak – is your 2 cents really going to add more than detract?
• Encourage your team to come up with their own ideas – and to try a few
• Practice patience – know that they aren’t going to get it right every time
If you are struggling with holding on to your 2 cents, let’s talk about how coaching can help. Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org