Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche one wrote, “The most basic form of human stupidity is forgetting what we are trying to accomplish.”
As a leader, it’s your job to keep those around you focused and working on the right problems. Easier said than done, though. What if your team brings you a problem where you just know the solution? Or you realize it would be faster to hop in and solve something yourself rather than guide another person?
Last week, we hosted best-selling author Michael Bungay Stanier for our first-ever Crossbeam Happy Hour, a chance to get conference-worthy career development insights for free.
We discussed his book The Advice Trap and all of his actionable for leading with a curiosity-first mindset. Below are 4 of his most actionable insights:
Insight #1 - Your advice probably isn’t that great
“It feels good but we’re wired with all of these cognitive biases that make us think [our advice is] awesome. You think because you saw it once before, that it’s true again... That means that quite a lot of the time you are offering up slightly crappy advice to solve the wrong problem. That’s not a strong leadership stance.”
Insight #2 - Your job is to free up other people
“What kills you and kills your team and kills your effectiveness...is your default response to leaping and offering solutions and opinions.”
Insight #3 - Counter-intuitive insight: It’s easier to coach your team with less information
“Damp down your technical expertise even as your Advice Monster looms up and says, 'You know this!' Your job is to go, 'Maybe, but not yet, let me stay curious.'”
Insight #4 - Your job is to figure out the real problem
“Anyone can come up with fast and wrong answers...Stay curious for two minutes before leaping in.”