The Only Stupid Question is the One You Didn’t Ask…
Why is it important for us to make sure that our team ask questions, clarify and challenge what they’ve been told?
Doesn’t it cause problems, get in the way and undermine the leader?
The answer is no, it doesn’t cause problems it helps prevent them, it doesn’t get in the way, it shows the way. Far from undermining the leader it gives them the chance to bring everyone onto the same page.
History is full of examples of failed projects and fatal accidents that could have been prevented if only the person in charge had been challenged by their team and had listened. In high pressure situations we can become task fixated, overworked and distracted from what we are trying to achieve. This compromises situation awareness which in turn leads to compromised decision making. What can we do about it?
Well the good news is that someone in your team has probably spotted the problem and can bring it to your attention. The question is, have we created the right environment for them to help us? How do we do that?
1. Encourage people to challenge and question, particularly support and encourage junior team members to do so.
2. Don’t dismiss the challenge out of hand or belittle those that challenge, otherwise next time they won’t ask that question that could save the day.
3. Remember that it’s the idea that’s being challenged, not the person, don’t take it personally.
Encouraging team members to question, clarify and challenge will help prevent problems, create new and better solutions and gives the leader the chance to bring the team together.
Asking questions is a habit of high performing teams.
What do you think?