“When someone asks you if something is the right thing to do, they typically already know the answer. As leaders, we should focus on affirmation, rather than vindication”

When we are approached for our opinion about an issue, whether consciously or not, the person is usually asking for vindication.  This is a fair assumption for leaders to make, and the advice we provide has a big impact on them, the situation, and us.

The best thing we can do as leaders is affirm what is the right thing to do, rather than vindicating them from what they already know is right.  It is easy to feel like we should please  them by giving the “ok” on what they would “like to do”, but that is not our job as leaders.  If we take that direction, the issue will become perpetually worse, and we are stunting the growth of everyone around us – not to mention causing many other internal issues by not doing what everyone knows is the right thing to do.

Next time someone asks what you think they should do, start off by asking them what they think the right thing to do is.  The majority of time they already have it pegged, and the right thing for us to do is to help them by confirming their own judgement.

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