As my team will tell you, I’ve been bad over the years about forwarding information to them with just one line from me: “Thoughts?”. That’s not helpful.
When I sent those items, such as a review of a new software tool, I legitimately just wanted to hear their overall feedback. However, it could also be taken two different ways:
- Does he want me to implement this now?
- Is there something else in here I’m missing?
Josepha Haden Chomphosy recently wrote about this issue and how it’s affected her as a leader. She referenced an amazing clip from the show “Silicon Valley” where the CEO of the company quips “the bear is sticky with honey” and the team scrambles to figure out what he really means. Check it out here:
As Josepha points out so well in her post, clarity matters a lot, and spending a few extra moments to offer context can be huge. In her words:
Context-free sharing of anything assumes that everything between you and the recipient is identical: the same frame of reference, values, and requisite information. I have found that, especially when I want team members to come to their own conclusions, I owe it to them to give them some concept of what made this worth their time in the first place.
Sharing fresh content and ideas with our team is something we’re constantly working on, but finding the right way to do it is always a bit of a work in progress.