A thought to start the week: “their ideas first”.
Their Ideas First
We love to help. To give advice, make suggestions, offer opinion. And perhaps nowhere more so than in our leadership roles. But our help comes with a problem: it hampers the other person’s thinking. Of course, we don’t mean to. But we do.
So here’s a challenge for this week: anytime a person wants your help with the thinking (statements like: “what do you think …”, “I’m not sure … “, “I really want to, but …”), catch yourself as you’re about to give advice. And reflect for a moment on the exchange. What’s the agenda? What’s the desired outcome?
And perhaps you might find it more useful to come to their ideas first:
- “How can I best help you with this?”
- “Would it be useful to think this through together?”
- “Where is your thinking so far, on this?”
Letting people come up with their own ideas and connections is hugely motivating for them – and hugely energising for their brains. It puts their agenda, their thinking and their learning foremost. Between you, you’ll get there quicker and with less brain spend. And most likely, a more complete answer.
That’s an outcome I’d be pretty pleased with.