Leaders who listen and engage in open dialogue with their employees gain enormous advantages. Yet, in practice, leaders sometimes hesitate to invite such dialogue, because they fear their employees’ opinions will be off-base. Rather than face a confrontation, these managers sidestep important conversations altogether.
Avoiding difficult conversations may seem easier in the short term. But over the long haul, leaders cannot achieve alignment, empowerment, or accountability without actively engaging their employees.
What leaders need, then, is a way to spark the give and take that leads to breakthrough ideas without compromising quality or outcomes.
Surprisingly, the practice of “yes, and” from the world of improv theater provides a very strong model. Kat Koppett, who leads improv-based training programs for multinational companies and has authored a book on business improv called Training to Imagine, explains, “‘Yes, and’ is a fundamental orientation toward noticing and accepting what is here in this situation, and building from there.”
To learn more, take a look at this post on strategy + business, Using Improv to Transform How You Lead,
And, if Leadership Momentum can be helpful in mobilizing breakthrough thinking on your team, please drop me a line!
All the best,