As a young manager I remember the pressure of feeling like I always had to have the answer when employees came to me for advice. As I matured as a manager, I realized that I could have a more lasting impact on staff development by encouraging their input.
Instead of responding with the answer, I learned to ask “What do YOU think we should do?” Then the key was to give them enough time to think about it and respond. After listening to their ideas, I realized that most of the time they really did know what to do. They just needed my approval and support as their manager.
Occasionally their ideas weren’t perfect, and in those instances I would offer more questions to help them think of more appropriate options.
Sometimes the best motivation a manager can give is offering an opportunity for your staff to be heard and then reinforcing their judgment.
This article written by Ruby Newell-Legner, a nationally recognized training expert and a friend of Baudville. Learn more about Ruby at www.RubySpeaks.com.