I might have a few opinions.
Alrighty, I have more than a few opinions.
It actually serves me fairly well. Lawyers are paid for opining on stuff.
Friends and family might be a little, well, let’s say, less interested in all of my opinions.
As a part of leading certain organizations, I often have to offer my opinions on various issues facing the group that day or month or year.
But I don’t ALWAYS have to offer my opinion.
In fact, it might be smart to withhold my opinion a little more often.
So I’m working on it.
I ask myself: WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
I get an update or a request and I think, uh-oh, I don’t think so. But before I go shooting that off in a hastily written email or sounding off in a meeting, I ask myself Why Does This Matter?
You see, for those of us that are, say, a little more inclined to control-freakiness, that’s a really important perspective to have.
Of course we have an opinion on it. We’re control-freaks. We have opinions on everything. Gracious.
But does it matter? Does this decision have adverse implications for my family or my career? Does the proposed course prevent the success of the project? Does failing to offer the contravening position hinder the progress of the group or organization? Does remaining silent adversely affect others?
If the answer is no, then I’m learning to respond with one of these brief statements:
· Great job, thanks for all your hard work.
· I’m comfortable with the direction you decide to take.
· I appreciate the update.
· That sounds like a good plan.
· What do you recommend?
Listen, women need a strong voice. I’m all about a strong voice. But we also need to hear people. To appreciate people. To give people, especially the women and men we have the opportunity to lead, the chance to find their own voice and make their own decisions. We have to realize when we don’t need to interject.
Linda Hetherwick says
GREAT post. I have had bosses who simply couldn’t resist changing at least one word in any letter I wrote even when their change did not improve the letter in any way or correct a mistake. They just COULDN’T help themselves. Remembering that, I try my best to leave employee’s letters exactly as they are as often as I can (barring a gramatical or factual error of course). It doesn’t make a person a bad leader if they’re not always smarter than everyone in the room on every subject. I think a good leader is actually one who tries to surround him/herself with people who ARE smarter in THEIR area and then listens to what they have to say.
Absolutely Linda – the best leaders surround themselves with smart folks in areas of understanding they don’t have – then they have to remember to let go and let them do their thing!!!