Leaders speak last

As the leader, add your opinion last or not at all. <– That’s one idea that took me years to figure out. If you are doing your work collaboratively, you will often find yourself in rooms with other people who have opinions. The second you add your opinion, you have tainted the pool and the quality and quantity of ideas coming from others wanes. “Yes, great suggestion boss!” Instead, try setting the scene in the room by providing the context and then farm for ideas. As ideas are shared, make no faces and offer no grunts. Ask clarifying questions about what comes up. Solicit input from all. Often the problem will end up being solved by the people in the room anyway. Might as well let them come up with an answer they support. This is one of the hard parts about leading. Letting go of control and trusting your people to do the right thing.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on April 2, 2019

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