Do you know how time pressure can often result in leaders just telling employees what to do and not looking for input? When you are overwhelmed, it’s hard to take a moment, go beyond what you want done and ask for feedback. Pressure closes us off from our creative side, which allows us to consider alternatives. It also reduces our listening skills and empathy.
If leaders go beyond communicating the task, relay their reasoning and ask for input, then there are some very positive effects for employees and their organization:
1. They become engaged and motivated to find and implement a solution
2. They are provided with a full understanding of the problem domain, which should allow them to adapt to changes in circumstances rather than asking you questions. They don’t necessarily know what you know, and this investment can save you time in the long run
3. They can add information to the problem domain. Their perspective is a valuable insight from the person who is doing the work and they can provide feedback on customer reactions, system issues etc.
As this HBR article below says, this requires a safe environment with trust on both sides. A litmus test of this would be if one of your team asked you “why” they had to do something, would there be discomfort felt on either side? Would you feel challenged, or think “good question, let’s talk about it”?