As a leader, how do your employees respond to your decisions, goals, and ideas? Do they ever challenge you on any of those things?Or are they always agreeing with you? Gallup argues that there is some risk in being solely surrounded by “yes-people.”These “yes-people” are those that only ever agree, never say no, and never challenge any decisions or ideas; simply put, they always say “yes.” That doesn’t mean internally they don’t have other thoughts, they just have adapted a way of outwardly agreeing with everything around them.
The downside to this is that you may not be receiving open and honest feedback. Everyone’s real thoughts might only be shared behind your back. There ends up being less room for improvement or new ideas because people are only focused on what you want.
So how do you encourage your employees to challenge you? As we discussed previously, encouraging vulnerability by providing open and honest feedback, and bringing forth their own new ideas is a good place to start. Another aspect to check is how you receive feedback.Do you get defensive? Or is it well-received, which leaves the door open for future constructive criticism.
This also dictates expectations for how your employees treat each other. There is a big difference between creating this open environment and condoning disrespect. Allowing and even welcoming your employees to push back a little, and letting them ask “why” instead of always answering “yes,”lets them know you respect and value their opinions and roles they play in your business. All of this may sound counter intuitive, but it will better your business, you customer experience, and your work environment. Are you ready to be challenged?