Ask and You Shall Be Given

Yes, boss, ask, instead of giving orders, and you have greater chance to receive. It’s a little harder for those with a bossy attitude – excluded company is of course present – nonetheless, if you wish to get closer to any leadership symptoms and not get stuck at management level, take a moment to consider.


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I am not saying it’s easy to do it, especially when being responsible for the outcome, especially that, when judgment day comes, you cannot say: “I told the employees, boss, but they simply won’t listen :)”

When asking you will get a response most of the times, ‘cause, well, that’s how you build long lasting relationships based on cooperation, and everybody knows what’s the pecking order.

Every time I get the chance, I provide the example of educating your kids: you tell them to do something no questions asked. When they dare to ask ‘why’ the easy way out is “Because I am your mother/father.” Up to a point this might actually work, but it’s just a phase; don’t be surprised if afterwards your authority will begin to crumble to pieces and the teenager or adult doesn’t give a rat’s ass on your “commandments”.

Getting back to the subordinates – instead of commanding them to be at work by 9 to start their job, ask them if they can be there by 9. No, this is not the most adequate example; the employees need to show up in time, unless there is a flexible hours schedule involved. I always prefer the freedom of choice where nothing is mandatory, not even keeping your job.

When you ask a subordinate by when he/she can send a report on global warming and leave them provide a deadline – you have more chances for a long-term collaboration – than if you just state you need it by 12:00 next day. Consider the fact that he/she has other priority tasks you assigned as well and now you disagree with yourself.

Last, but not the least, when you ask for something, presumably you’ll get a response. Thus, a commitment and a DEADline.

Generally speaking, when people don’t like to be controlled, but have the power to choose when or how to do things, it’s your role as a manager to respect that. Next time when you are ready to demand something, try the questioning approach so you can test its power.

Good luck succeeding!

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