As a leader, you must give the freedom to the people to agree or disagree with you. However, it is not desired to pass judgments after asking people to give their honest opinions about us.
The habit of passing a judgment is innate in almost every human being, and not just leaders. We rank what people tell us – is it more, is it less, is it less or more pleasant than what we wanted them to tell us. Giving an opinion in the midst of business discussions is not wrong. As a leader, you must give the freedom to the people to agree or disagree with you. However, it is not desired to pass judgments after asking people to give their honest opinions about us. This holds true even if you agree with the answer.
For leaders, all must be equal
When you pass a judgment on anyone’s efforts in helping you, you can be sure of only one thing they wont come forward to help you again.
Let’s say you are in a meeting and have asked for suggestions. In response to the suggestions by the first subordinate, you say ‘That’s an excellent plan’. For the second subordinate, you respond by saying, ‘Good idea!’ and for the third suggestion, you say nothing at all. Apart from the different levels of encouragement that your subordinates get by their leader’s response, the other people would instantly be made a note of your rankings, without understanding the intentions of your comments. When you pass a judgment on anyone’s efforts in helping you, you can be sure of only one thing – they won’t come forward to help you again.
I assure all my clients, most of whom are leaders in multi – million dollar organizations, that I never judge them for their thoughts, actions or plans. It is not my job to pass a judgment on your character. As leaders, you should extend the same kind of response to everyone making efforts to help you. Irrespective of the suggestion’s quality, you should keep your response to yourself, patiently hear the person and say, ‘Thanks’. For a fortnight, no matter what idea comes to you from whom, treat it with neutrality. Don’t judge, don’t take sides. A simple ‘Thank you’ would be an appropriate response. You will see the results soon. There would be much lesser pointless arguments involving you. After a while, a neutral response will come naturally to you. You would be branded as a welcoming leader, a leader who is easily accessible and is always ready to hear a new idea. This is what it would take from you to break that unintentional wall dividing the leader and his subordinates.