Giving Real Choices
Leaders have to be mindful of the choices they give. Position can often trump intention. A boss is rarely as funny as the responses to the jokes he tells would indicate. There are some leaders that are completely autocratic with their decision making and give their teams no choice in direction and method. No one really wants to think of themselves as a dictator, but we must be aware that in the effort to give choice we have a huge influence on the choices that are made. If I want to truly empower a teammate to choose, then I must be completely ok with the choice I would not have made. Even suggestions can unintentionally rob a choice of any freedom. Once a preference is communicated, it puts the teammate in a difficult position to choose otherwise because no one wants to disappoint the person who leads them. Leaders must take care to communicate preferences clearly and real choices clearly without blending them if they want to truly empower their team.