One of my favorite truths from our work in BTL is this: Clarity is the antidote to anxiety. Man, print that one out and post it on your desk top. Stick it on your dashboard or on your visor. It’s one of my perpetual PA’s. I think through this lens every… single… day.
Leaders, don’t assume. Don’t assume you know the underlying issues that are causing friction. Don’t assume you know how a quick fix will play out. Don’t assume your team members understand the mission/vision/current strategy of your organization. Don’t assume your team members understood your last directive. Don’t assume. Ask curious questions that lead to clarity.
Team members, don’t assume. Don’t assume your leaders understand what is happening on the front lines. Don’t assume they know the pressure points team members face in cross-collaboration especially in times of tight deliverables and a rapidly-changing landscape. Don’t assume your leaders know how close to burnout you are. Don’t assume. Ask curious questions and be ready to share honestly, CCD, to lead your leadership to clarity.
So what’s the PA to Assume less? Initiate conversations that matter. Initiate crucial conversations with your leaders….with your teams. With your Board. Leaders initiate. Start by mining for lack of clarity before you mine for conflict. But please do it with all humility. Humility is the key to learning.
Ask. Listen. Ask. Listen. Playback for clarity. Good. Now move forward together.