One of my weaknesses in leadership is failing to give enough details. I am skilled at painting the big picture. I have tons of ideas. I can usually get people motivated, but often they have no idea what they are to do next. Knowing this about myself, I must constantly ask if people around me understand what I am trying to communicate. This doesn’t come natural for me, but it is something I have tried to practice in my leadership. (You’d have to ask someone on my team if I’m any good at it.)
I know, therefore, and really regardless of your strengths and weaknesses, that there is one question every leader must ask. The question is:
A leader must get feedback to make sure everyone on the team understands where he or she is leading the team.
The reality is that he or she carries the vision….usually lives it…it’s clear as mud to him or her….but sometimes that vision isn’t as clear to followers. Team members need the freedom to ask questions, even if those questions seem to challenge the leader. While I also believe in giving respect to the position of leadership, the leader, in turn must have patience with those that are simply trying to understand.
Leaders that refuse people the right to ask questions shut down the progress of the team. When people are left wondering or fear asking questions, they will soon stop offering any suggestions for improvement.
Leaders, are you insuring people know what you are trying to communicate? Do you allow feedback?
Have you ever had a leader that you couldn’t follow because he or she wouldn’t solicit or welcome questions?