Don’t have Discussion When You Need to Announce a Decision


There’s nothing as frustrating as sitting in an hour+ long meeting that was supposed to be a discussion on how to solve a problem or brainstorm a new idea only to realize you’re ideas aren’t being heard because the Leader has already made up their mind. Those who are following you understand there are times decisions must be made. This is true even if they are following you voluntarily.  People know when their voices are falling on deaf ears, so don’t waste their time nor insult their intelligence when you have no intention of hearing them out.

Timing is important a leader. There is a time to influence and a time to direct. Know the difference and know when to use each vehicle of leadership. Think of leadership as the boundary line where influence and direction meet.  If you prefer to veer off the boundary line into pure influence then don’t be a leader be a speech writer for the leader. If you veer into pure direction, then you’re more of a micro-manager heading towards dicatorland. Balance and boundaries are important to establish and maintain.   If you know there are certain decisions that only you want to make, let it be known to your team. Then let the rest of the decisions be for team discussions.

I have yet to discover hard rules on what to discuss and when to dictate. I believe it has to with your relationship with your team. The stronger your connection to your team, then the easier it is for them to take direction from you. If you are a new manager to an established team, you set your boundaries. As the relationships grow and you understand peoples’ strengths enlarge those boundaries.