If you and your team are facing a chronic challenge, you might be tempted to take control and vehemently argue for the solution you think will work, or to offer ideas indirectly and let your team take ownership of the issue. Neither of these extremes is optimal. Instead, try an approach that combines conviction and openness — that way others can come up with solutions that build on your best thinking.
With your team, talk about the persistence of the issue, what solutions have failed, and why.
Explain (not order) that you want them to choose the solution with you. Make it clear that you are looking for new ideas, not a defense of failed solutions or rehashed versions of what you’ve already tried. Build a set of measurable criteria with which you can evaluate options.
Admit any biases you have for particular solutions, and ask the team to treat those ideas no differently than their own. Rate all ideas, including yours, against the established criteria — and most important, be open about the assumptions underlying your views.
Remember, even in football, the coach is part of the team and can't accomplish their objectives alone, neither will he be accomplished by making just the players take the blames.
- HBR, Ron Carucci, Eze Uwaezuoke
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