Over 20 senior company leaders were anxious how the message was going to be delivered and, even more importantly, received. The teams debated for days whether to even bring up such a sensitive topic. The idea of telling the boss “his baby was ugly” was a frightful thought. Now it was time.
The first discussion did not include such a land mine and went well. The key message was in the middle of the presentation when it was recommended that a key initiative should be “paused.” A kind way of saying “stop it.” The presenter continued on but the boss asked her to go back. “By pause, are you suggesting we can it,” he asked? Actually, that was the recommendation, and the group transitioned into a robust discussion about the possible ways of moving toward far more progressive and positive solutions to the business challenge.
This was an amazing example of the power of a leader’s candid openness resulting in improved communication and business solutions. It created buy-in and a comfort level not often experienced. As leaders, we all need to be open to hear our teams and take the time to clarify what they recommend. This closely relates to the “curiosity elevator” we discussed in “What floor are you on?”
Have you experienced a leader open to having their solutions questioned? Are you this type of leader?