Do your associates ever voice disagreement with you?
I read a fascinating article in the Harvard Business Review entitled, “What to Ask the Person in the Mirror: Critical Questions for Becoming a More Effective Leader and Reaching Your Potential,” written by Robert Kaplan. The question I found most powerful was this: “How often do your subordinates challenge or disagree with you?” In my experience, the most effective leaders have at least a few associates who are willing to share contrarian points of view. When associates are willing to speak up and voice their concerns, it can lead to a process of working together to refine and perfect the end goal. It also says a lot about the leader if he or she can trust their team and truly listen, not be threatened, and consider the ideas suggested by other team members. How often does someone on your team challenge your views? What does this say about how you lead? What does this mean about the relationship and the trust you and your associates share? If you don’t have anyone who truly challenges you in a healthy way, why do you think no one is willing to speak up? What would the outcome be if you truly welcomed others’ observations and heard what your associates had to say?