Default to yes
By Jacob Espinoza
This situation happens to us all.
One of your employees enters your office and starts rambling about a new idea. You can tell they are excited and that this idea means A LOT to them—even though you don’t understand it.
You have a lot on your mind. Your team isn’t hitting its goals, and sales have declined over the last three months. Plus, people are missing deadlines. You aren’t sleeping well.
You are stressed. You are tired. You haven’t had your coffee yet.
You take a deep breath and try to stay patient. You wish they could stay in their lane. Why can’t anybody just listen?
Does this situation sound familiar?
When we start feeling like our backs are against the wall, it’s common to try and control everything.
But the problem with this approach is that people aren’t robots. They perform worse when they are controlled by red tape and bureaucracy. People want to create and feel like their ideas are valuable.
Absenteeism, high turnover rates, and low employee engagement are the traditional costs associated with bureaucracy.
Great leaders dig deep and find ways to inspire the people around them when faced with obstacles.
An inspired team will go much further than a team focused on keeping their head down and avoiding getting in trouble.
One way to inspire your team is by letting them experiment and supporting them in bringing their big ideas to life.
Without experimentation, your team will miss out on new ideas and opportunities for growth, leading to decreased innovation and creativity. This creates a boring work environment, low morale, and a lack of progress. Additionally, experimenting with new ideas allows your team to learn new skills.
Personal development is a big deal for today’s workforce.
According to an article by Fortune, Three-fourths of millennial and Gen Z workers said they were ready to jump ship due to a lack of skill-building support from their bosses.
In Liz Wiseman’s book Multipliers, she shares her findings that employees who were allowed to use their strengths in stretch assignments saw improvements in performance while doing their regular jobs.
So what does this mean for you?
Encourage your team to experiment.
When your team approaches you with an idea, challenge yourself to default to YES.
What is the value of their idea? How can you help set them up for success? How can you create a safe space for them to run with their ideas?
By giving your team this opportunity, you will invest in their development and accelerate their growth. Even if their idea fails, you’ll have gained an employee who feels more invested in your business AND has grown as a professional, allowing them to be even better in their role.
Find new opportunities for your team to use their strengths
Create space for your team to break up the monotony of their daily tasks and work on new projects.
To get the most out of this experience, be sure to be specific as to WHY you selected them. Make sure they know it wasn’t a random selection. Make them feel special.
“I’ve noticed you do a great job staying updated on trends in our industry. You are bringing a ton of value to our team right now. I’d like for you to join our quarterly strategic planning session next week. I know we would benefit from your perspective.”