If I’m always providing answers to people, how is that developing them? It’s not. They’re not thinking, they’re just robots.
If I’m strategic, looking forward way into the future as a leader, then the questions I ask will develop and hold people accountable. In order to do that, I’ve got to listen.
I think you can start seeing a connection here. Lead, don’t manage. Manage things, lead people. Same sort of thing with developing your people.
Your people aren’t robots. Good leaders know how to bring out the best in their people. They do that by listening and asking the right questions at the right time.
Just because somebody walks into your office and says they need an answer on something doesn’t mean you have to respond to it unless the building’s on fire. That’s part of the beauty of asking questions.
What if, very soon, you start training your employees that as a leader, when they come to you, you’re not going to give them an answer on everything? You’re going to manage your time and you’re going to kick it back with another question to make them think.
Soon, you’ll make them figure out that they’d better do the thinking before they come to you. And likely, for the thing they’re coming to you for, they’ll already have an answer by the time you find out about it.
That’s how you develop your people. You hold them accountable and don’t give them all the answers. That’s what makes a good leader.