It’s tempting to take the lead when you meet someone for the first time, run a meeting, or try to resolve a problem. Of course, you want to be interesting and show why you’re in charge, right?
It depends on who you want to be the Hero — you or those with you. If you want others to be the Hero, then you must become the Guide.
Guides don’t have to be out front, nor do they do all the talking. In fact, the best leaders step back, listen, and ask key questions rather than give key answers.
Look for teachable moments:
– When tempted to focus on yourself, ask a question to get others talking. Comment, then hand the conversation back.
– When tempted to give an answer, ask a question to understand their view. Ask follow-up questions to help them connect the dots and find the answer. When offering your view, keep it in the context of their input.
– When in a meeting as a leader, speak LAST. Invite the quiet voices to speak first and be heard. What you learn may shift your thinking.
When possible, help others come up with the best ideas. Support it, or build on it, AND let them take the credit.
Life is a team sport. Be curious to help you team shine.