Have you ever had a day when it felt like all your customers had short attention spans and unreasonable needs for instant gratification? If yes, then you know what it is like to be pushed into making decisions quicker than you would like and that making quick decisions can lead to unintended consequences.
Stephen Covey talks about the space between stimulus and response, and how too often we do not give ourselves enough time between the two to adequately consider our response options. This, of course, can lead to decisions that may be ill-advised or not helpful. Snap decisions, or decisions made without input from your team, can have additional consequences, particularly if the decision impacts more than just you. When the teams input is not sought and used, team members can quickly start to feel excluded and start to disengage from their jobs.
Most leaders are aware of the importance of engaging their teams in decision-making processes. They know it is an important part of how you develop employs and grow future leaders. Those leaders also know there are times when a quick, intuitive decision can be important to meeting a customer’s need. Typically the intuitive feel of such a decision is a product of years of experience and training. This intrinsic knowledge is very valuable and good leaders understand that it is important to take the time to explain to their team how they came about their decision. Great leaders, even when a decision is easy for them, look for opportunities to proactively involve team members in the decision-making process.
The dilemma or barrier leaders often cite to seeking more input from team members is their sense of urgency to make decisions quickly. The attitude leaders get things done is common and is often the attitude that helped them become a leader. That attitude alone will not make someone a highly effective leader; they also need to believe leaders build teams. Such a belief adds intrinsic value to taking the time to get input, appreciating the contributions of team members and developing a positive followership.
Getting things done can be very rewarding and at times executives struggle with striking the balance between getting it done and taking the time to develop their team. The Village Business Institute offers Executive Coaching Services that helps leaders explore and become more effective in building highly effective teams. If you have questions about Executive Coaching Services, contact The Village Business Institute at 1-800-627-8220 or www.theVBI.com.
About the blogger
Darrin Tonsfeldt has a background of program administration, employee supervision, and clinical experience, as well as 20 years of experience in organization consulting and planning. He provides oversight of The Village Business Institute, Regional Counseling Services, and Financial Resource Center programs. He also provides consulting services that include strategic planning; career, leadership, management, and executive coaching; corporate training and group facilitation; crisis response in the workplace; and organizational consulting.