No boss would ever want to look vulnerable before his/her team. Leaders assume that people around always look to them for direction. The greater the chances to tutor, the more delighted are the bosses. It is not the case always. Richard Montañez once said “If you’re afraid of looking foolish, you’re never going to achieve anything great.”
In the fast paced world, experts say, where trends shift momentarily, to say someone knows everything is a fallacy. If you don’t know something, the best way to get it is to ask questions; and to whom else to ask, if not your proximate team?
Reaching out to others, juniors included, doesn’t paint you a weak leader; far from it, it sends out signals that you trust them and care for their trust in return. This reach out goes beyond the team to stakeholders including customers (e.g. product feedback) and again to more diverse sources outside the institution for expertise( e.g. technical collaboration)
Question to Win
Asking sensible questions has added advantages, as it:
- Inspires experimenting: As Help can be asked if needed (implementing new software).
- Encourages culture of learning (contributory product development).
- Soothes anxiety: Sharing a problem reduces anxiety.
- Triggers innovation(digital marketing ideas)
- Enables feedback(improvements in after sales service)
Leaders who don’t shy away to ask questions become winners as they are able to address the challenges effectively (more heads are better than one) and seize new opportunities (some of the best ideas originate at the shop floor)
Collaborative leadership is a collective process that requires leaders and their team members to work together. For more details check our program @https://online.ifheindia.org/
Do you think reaching out to subordinates dilute their confidence in leaders’ competence? Why?
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John Hagel- Good Leadership Is About Asking Good Questions-Harvard Business Review