As a leader, you’ve likely had this problem before; your direct reports want to run everything by you. And, maybe you have encouraged this process for a number of reasons; they are a new employee, you enjoy the conversation, you are not sure they are making the right decisions, or you haven’t told them when they can make decisions on their own. At what point do you empower your high performers to make those critical and not so critical decisions on their own?
Smart people don’t need others to solve every problem they have. What they need is engagement. They need a conversation and body language that you are interested, you understand, and you want to be part of the solution. Ask challenging questions: “What are the consequences?” “What good happens under your approach?” “What bad could happen?”
High performers want and need engagement in a meaningful way. You don’t need to be part of every decision. Create the right parameters so they know when to come to you and give them permission to “think out loud,” “brainstorm” and be creative with you. Make sure you let them know they are safe to do this without being judged!
Your best performers do NOT want you to come up with all the answers. But they do want engagement and do want to feel empowered to make decisions. Your role as the leader is to LISTEN, ENGAGE, SPEAK and EMPOWER! How well are you doing?